Dianne M. Stewart

in Three Eyes for the Journey

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195154153
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835713 | DOI:

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This chapter discusses the ambiguity, contradictions, and controversy surrounding the legacy of African-derived religions in Jamaica, especially with regard to Kumina, a Kongo/Koongo-derived Jamaican tradition. It highlights the dualistic approach to African religions in Black Jamaican culture, especially during the 19th and 20th centuries. On the one hand, African-derived religions and the people who sustain them have been and continue to be stigmatized as dangerous and pathological in Jamaican popular culture. Yet, on the other hand, practitioners of African-derived religions are consulted regularly for healing and crisis resolution. An African-centered womanist “theology of the cross” is developed in this chapter, which shows that Obeah, Myal, Revival Zion, Kumina, Rastafari, and other African diasporic religions share common religious foci that appear to be African-derived and emphasize healing, well-being, and the integration and affirmation of purposeful life experience.

Keywords: African religions; Jamaica; Kumina; womanist theology of the cross

Chapter.  23402 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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