Caribbean Religious HistoryAn Introduction

Caribbean Religious HistoryAn Introduction

Ennis B. Edmonds and Michelle A. Gonzalez

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780814722343

Publisher: NYU Press


The colonial history of the Caribbean created a context in which many religions, from indigenous to African-based to Christian, intermingled with one another, creating a rich diversity of religious life. This book offers the first comprehensive religious history of the region. It begins with the religious traditions of the Amerindians who flourished prior to contact with European colonizers, then details the transplantation of Catholic and Protestant Christianity and their centuries of struggles to become integral to the Caribbean's religious ethos, and traces the twentieth-century penetration of American Evangelical Christianity, particularly in its Pentecostal and Holiness iterations. The book also illuminates the influence of Africans and their descendants on the shaping of such religious traditions as Vodou, Santeria, Revival Zion, Spiritual Baptists, and Rastafari, and the success of Indian indentured laborers and their descendants in reconstituting Hindu and Islamic practices in their new environment.