Book Launch: Second Revised Edition of Creole Religions of the Caribbean

CLACS, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University is hosting a book launch for the Second Edition of Creole Religions of the Caribbean: An Introduction from Vodou and Santeria to Obeah and Espiritismo by Margarite Fernández Olmos and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, with a preface by Joseph Murphy.

Date: Thursday, September 29th, 2011, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Great Room of 19 University Place, New York University, New York, NY 10003 (map)

Creolization—the coming together of diverse beliefs and practices to form new beliefs and practices—is one of the most significant phenomena in Caribbean religious history. Brought together in the crucible of the sugar plantation, Caribbean peoples drew on the variants of Christianity brought by European colonizers, as well as on African religious and healing traditions and the remnants of Amerindian practices, to fashion new systems of belief. Creole Religions of the Caribbean offers a comprehensive introduction to the syncretic religions that have developed in the region. From Vodou, Santería, Regla de Palo, the Abakuá Secret Society, and Obeah to Quimbois and Espiritismo, the volume traces the historical–cultural origins of the major Creole religions, as well as the newer traditions such as Pocomania and Rastafarianism. This second edition updates the scholarship on the religions themselves and also expands the regional considerations of the Diaspora to the U. S. Latino community who are influenced by Creole spiritual practices. Fernández Olmos and Paravisini–Gebert also take into account the increased significance of material culture—art, music, literature—and healing practices influenced by Creole religions. Please join us to celebrate the publication of the second edition of this book by listening to presentations by Margarite Fernández Olmos, Joseph Murphy, and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert. Read about the book at NYU Press

4 thoughts on “Book Launch: Second Revised Edition of Creole Religions of the Caribbean

  1. I cannot help but notice your inclusion of “Obeah” as a religion. Obeah has no deity, no shrine or place of worship, no congregation, no ceremonies, rituals or the like. It claims to have the ability to manipulate the “world of the spirits” and through them to sway the course of events. Those among us with an interest in such interventions, for positive or negative reasons, become believers and prospective clients of the practice.

    I also note your inclusion of Rastafarianism as if it was an independent religion. Emperor Haile Selassie, Jah Rastafari, is Jesus Christ reincarnated. Rastafarians use the same Holy Bible, identify with the same gods, to wit, Yahweh and Jesus, and practice some
    of the same rites and ceremonies. It is a Christian denomination.

    “Pocomania” is a derogation. The religion is Pukkumina.

    1. I think you will find, if you read the book, that all these issues you mention are amply covered in great details. They are more complex than your brief summary would indicate, as there are communities that practice Obeah as organized congregations, for example, and are rescuing the connections between Pukumina and Obeah that had to go underground because of repression.

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