Forthcoming Book: “Materialities of Religion”

Materialities of Religion: Spiritual Traditions of the Colonial and Post-colonial Caribbean, by Niall Finneran and Christina Welch, will be published by Routledge in September 2023. [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.]

Description: This book offers an overview of the material expressions of Caribbean religious expressions, including those that have been imported through the vehicle of colonialism, and which subsequently changed and adapted within the Caribbean islands and those religious expressions which developed through the contact of African, indigenous and imported world views.

This book takes a multi-disciplinary perspective, drawing from subjects as diverse as archaeology, religious studies, history, human geography and anthropology. It introduces current topical debates around the role of colonialism and religion in the Caribbean, and also considers theoretical approaches to the study of Caribbean religions set within a wider global context. This approach introduces the reader to a number of important and topical concepts around the wider study of Caribbean religions and illuminates the complex cultural history and interplay of these religions in the Caribbean islands. Richly illustrated and drawing upon a range of different cultural approaches, it offers new and challenging perspectives on the development and cultural history of Caribbean spiritual and religious expression through the lens of the material world. [. . .]

Table of Contents:

1: Introduction; 2: The context of Caribbean religious expression; 3: Method and theory in the study of the materiality of Caribbean religion; 4: Christianity, colonialism and the Caribbean; 5: The Jewish and Islamic Caribbean, and recent religious introductions; 6: African-Caribbean creolised religious traditions of the Greater Antilles; 7: African-Caribbean creolised religious traditions of Jamaica and the Anglophone Caribbean; 8: Caribbean spirituality in the 21st century: a material consideration

Niall Finneran is professor of historical archaeology and heritage studies at the University of Winchester. His PhD was in African archaeology from the University of Cambridge, and he has also been working in the Caribbean for over twenty years, mainly in the Windward Islands. He has written extensively on material culture, religious identity and community heritage.

Christina Welch is a Reader in religious studies at the University of Winchester. Her PhD research focused upon indigenous identities in North America and since then has developed an internationally significant research expertise around death studies, Caribbean indigenous knowledge systems and plant use, and community heritage.

Materialities of Religion: Spiritual Traditions of the Colonial and Post-colonial Caribbean
Routledge, September 2023
336 pages
ISBN 978-1138494824

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