Three Eyes for the Journey: African Dimensions of the Jamaican Religious Experience

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Studies of African-derived religious traditions have generally focused on their retention of African elements. This emphasis, says Dianne Stewart, slights the ways in which communities in the African diaspora have created and formed new religious meaning. In this fieldwork-based study Stewart shows that African people have been agents of their own religious, ritual, and theological formation. She examines the African-derived and African-centered traditions in historical and contemporary Jamaica: Myal, Obeah, Native Baptist, Revival/Zion, Kumina, and Rastafari, and draws on them to forge a new womanist liberation theology for the Caribbean.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What Stewart is speaking for in a remarkable trans-discipline manner is a revision which allows religions to be able to talk with—rather than howl at—one another. Stewarts scholarship makes a major pathfinding and breakthrough contribution to theological studies, Caribbean theology in particular, and Caribbean studies." —Kamau Brathwaite, Professor of Comparative Literature, New York University

"Dianne Stewart's Three Eyes for the Journey is a provocative and engaging account of the African derived religious traditions of Jamaica. Her lived experience and her field research in Jamaica and other parts of the black Atlantic world enable her to establish in significant depth the historical contour and scholarly interpretation of indigenous Jamaican religious and cultural traditions. Stewart has brilliantly mapped out a new approach to the study of a Caribbean religion. The book should be required reading for theologians, historians of religion, and ordinary readers who are interested in Jamaican religion, culture and society." —Jacob K. Olupona, Director and Professor, African American and African Studies, The University of California, Davis

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195175578
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/7/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dianne M. Stewart is Assistant Professor of Religion at Emory University.

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Table of Contents

Divination : introduction 3
1 Libation : four centuries of encounter and transition 15
2 Incantation : European attitudes toward Africanness in Jamaica 69
3 Offering : trajectories of African-Jamaican religiosity 91
4 Visitation : the legacy of African-derived religions in Jamaica 139
5 Communion : toward a Caribbean theology of collective memory 189
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