What’s on our Nightstands: Francio Guadeloupe’s Chanting Down the New Jerusalem

chanting

Francio Guadeloupe’s new book on the politics of belonging in the Dutch and French Caribbean, specifically on Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, presents a provocative approach to Caribbean culture. As the author himself asserts, Chanting Down the New Jerusalem: Calypso, Christianity, and Capitalism in the Caribbean (2008) is his “contribution to the conversation on what the Caribbean is/ought to/can be.”

The editorial review states:
In this brilliantly evocative ethnography, Francio Guadeloupe probes the ethos and attitude created by radio disc jockeys on the binational Caribbean island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. Examining the intersection of Christianity, calypso, and capitalism, Guadeloupe shows how a multiethnic and multireligious island nation, where livelihoods depend on tourism, has managed to encourage all social classes to transcend their ethnic and religious differences. In his pathbreaking analysis, Guadeloupe credits the island DJs, whose formulations of Christian faith, musical creativity, and capitalist survival express ordinary people’s hopes and fears and promote tolerance.

David Chidester, author of Authentic Fakes: Religion and American Popular Culture, calls the book a major contribution to the study of religion and culture in the Caribbean and in the world, explaining that Guadeloupe “brings us to the island not as tourists but as guests, welcoming us into the homes and home-truths of a Caribbean world in the making. In the process, he helps us understand the intimate yet mediated rhythms of personal subjectivity and social collectivity that are at work and at play in making meaningful worlds.

franciobDr. Francio Guadeloupe teaches in the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies in Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Born in Aruba in 1971, Guadeloupe moved to the Netherlands at 18 years of age. Based on his research on Afro-Brazilian religious practices, focusing on Candomblé and Umbanda in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, Guadeloupe published two books: A vida e uma dança: the Candomble through the Lives of Two Cariocas (Nijmegen, CIDI, 1999) and Dansen om te leven: over Afro-Braziliaanse cultuur en religie (Luyten & Babar, 1999).

For purchasing information, see http://www.amazon.com/Chanting-Down-New-Jerusalem-Christianity/dp/0520254899/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1

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