Chapter

Libation

Dianne M. Stewart

in Three Eyes for the Journey

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195154153
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835713 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195154150.003.0006
 Libation

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This chapter explores the encounter between Europeans and Africans during four centuries of European expansion (1492-1838), looking at the historical legacy of African-derived religions in Jamaica during the slave period and its theological potential for contemporary Jamaicans. By examining Obeah and Myal within the socio-historical setting of pre-Emancipation Jamaica, it refutes the bad-versus-good classification of the two traditions as a product of absolutist reasoning in Western Christian thought. Instead, it posits that the idea of moral neutrality is most compatible with the metaphysical assumptions and ethical principles embraced by practitioners of both traditions.

Keywords: African religion; Jamaica; slave period; funerals; rituals; pre-emancipation; Obeah; Myal

Chapter.  23264 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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