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Caribbean Religious HistoryAn Introduction$
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Ennis B. Edmonds and Michelle A. Gonzalez

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814722343

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814722343.001.0001

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Early Colonial Catholicism

Early Colonial Catholicism

(p.45) 3 Early Colonial Catholicism
Caribbean Religious History

Ennis B. Edmonds

Michelle A. Gonzalez

NYU Press

This chapter surveys the role of the Catholic Church in the Caribbean during the colonial era. The history of the Roman Catholic Church in the colonial era is marked by its complicity with and support of Spanish colonial domination and exploitation of indigenous and African peoples throughout the Caribbean. But while Catholicism saturated the culture and religious worldviews of Caribbean peoples, the institution has not had a similar impact. By focusing on Caribbean colonial Catholicism, with special attention to the lived religion of Caribbean Catholic communities and their interaction with non-Christian religions in former Catholic colonies, the chapter provides a sense of the religious life of Caribbean Catholics. It shows that although Caribbean Catholicism shares some broad features, including elements that characterize the lived or popular Catholicism across the various colonies, each nation also has its distinctive manifestations of religiosity. The religious practices and devotions of Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic evolved out of their particular contexts.

Keywords:   Roman Catholic Church, Caribbean Catholics, colonization, religious life, Caribbean Catholicism

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