New Book: Rastafari in the New Millennium, a Rastafari Reader

April 21, 2012, saw the launch of Rastafari in the New Millennium: A Rastafari Reader (Syracuse University Press, 2012) at the University of the West Indies-Mona, coinciding with the date that marks approximately 46 years since Haile Selassie I’s 1966 visit to Jamaica. The book is a collection of essays edited by Dr. C; it includes a foreword by the late Rex Nettleford and essays by leaders in the fields of cultural studies, history, the arts, religious studies, and more.

Description: In the dawn of the new African Millennium, the Rastafari movement has achieved unheralded growth and visibility since its inception more than eighty years ago. Moving beyond a pure spiritual movement, its aesthetic component has influenced cultures of the Caribbean, the United States, and others across the globe. Locating the Rastafari movement at a literal and figurative crossroad, Barnett sets out to consider the possible paths the movement will chart.

Rastafari in the New Millennium covers a wide range of perspectives, focusing not only on the movement’s nuanced and complex religious ideology but also on its political philosophy, cosmology, and unique epistemology. Barry Chevannes’s essay addresses the concerns of death and repatriation, highlighting the transformative challenges these issues pose to Rastafari. Essays by Ian Boxill, Edward Te Kohu Douglas, Erin MacLeod, and Janet L. DeCosmo—among others—offer rich accounts of the globalization of Rastafari from New Zealand to Ethiopia, from Brazil to Zimbabwe. Drawing on new research and global developments, the contributors, many of whom are leading scholars in the field, reinvigorate the critical dialogue on the current state and future direction of the Rastafari movement.

Michael Barnett is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Psychology, and Social Work at the University of the West Indies at Mona. His articles have appeared in such publications as Caribbean Quarterly, the Journal of Caribbean Studies, and the Journal of Black Studies.

For more on the launch and the book, see

For purchasing information, see

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