Unformatted text preview: Two Spiritual Systems Two
Cultural Contact Cultural Cultural components Cultural Institutions least stable Language quite stable → Religion more stable; values not institutions not Motor habits most stable: art, Motor music and dance African Worldview African African Worldview African No separation between sacred and No secular: “Wherever the African is, there is his religion: he carries it to the fields where he is sowing seeds or harvesting a new crop; he takes it with him to the beer party or to attend a funeral ceremony; and if he is educated he takes religion with him to the examination room at school or in the university; if he is a politician he takes it to the house of parliament.” (Mbiti) (Mbiti) West African Religion One creator: good, just, mysterious, One remote remote Good and evil co-exist Commune with spirits Purpose: bring back into right relation Experiential rather than dogmatic Drums Drums & Movement Movement African Religiosity African Survival Survival Part of the bundle that endures Religion central to West African life African religions: Inclusive Continually importing new slaves Missionaries came late to the Caribbean Santeria Santeria Condomblé Condombl Orisha Movement Movement TrinidadTobago Yoruba Spirits: Ogun – St Peter Yoruba Life in Motion Yemeya – Virgin Mary Yemeya Goddess of Water – Mother of All Haitian Voodoo Haitian Planters & African Religiosity Planters Jonkanoo Jonkanoo Amusements of their Amusements own own “Amusements of their own” - Jonkanoo ‘Superstition’ Old Cotton Tree Dwelling place of Dwelling spirits spirits Duppies Obeah – ‘Dark/Evil’ Obeah Bringing Back into Right Relation Bringing Christian Missionaries Christian Planters and Missionaries Planters
“I have a bad set of people. They steal have enormously, run away, get drunk, fight. . . the women take no care of their children and there is no increase on property. Now, if you can bring them under fear of God, or a judgment to come, or something of that sort, you may be doing both them and me a service.” Missionaries Missionaries Native Baptist preachers German Moravians (1754) Wesleyans, or Methodists (1789), Baptists Wesleyans, (1814) and the Presbyterians (1823). The Anglican Church (1825) George Lisle George Henry and Elizabeth Blomfield a few months before they sailed for Jamaica to work as Baptist work missionary teachers. Barbara Mary Blomfield Barbara Missionaries: Social Control Missionaries: “Be true to your husbands and wives, and Be obedient to your masters and bombas. The Lord has made all ranks – kings, masters, servants, and slaves. God punished the first negroes by making them slaves, and your conversion will make you free, not from the control of your masters, but simply from your wicked habits and thoughts, and all that makes you dissatisfied with your lot.” (Nicholas Zinzendorf) African Religion ↔ Christianity Christianity Christianities Christianities Polytheism - create new spirits/saints for Polytheism changing circumstances changing Monotheism - either/or, one truth generates Monotheism split into multiple sects. split Catholic – saints Protestant – original sin Protestant Dovetails with Christianity Dovetails Inclusive nature of African religions Many revelations in the African tradition Many dovetailed with the Christian tradition. dovetailed Saw Africa and Africans in the bible Saw Conflicts with Christianity Conflicts African: no orthodoxy, no priests Continuous revelation World in continuous flux – requires World constantly updated picture constantly Suspicious of reliance on old revelation Suspicious ossified in Bible ossified Dynamic Dynamic Getting the Getting spirit Baptism → Baptism ‘magic’ of water water John the John Baptist over above Christ Read bible as Read myth myth Regeneration not Salvation Regeneration ‘Heart quite good, Heart Massa; heart quite good.’ good.’ African Education Pragmatic Christianity Pragmatic Learn to read Some control and power Arena for organization Power tool for influencing events Gender Gender Obeah/Myal: “Capacity to use energy dynamically dynamically Women Women Central role in re-establishing communities Manipulating spiritual energy gender neutral Spirit possession Human body as receptacle for spirit Especially women’s bodies Feminine surrender / acted upon Non-repressed attitudes toward sexuality Kumina Kumina Central Africa Arrival post-emancipation period Preserve memory of Africa Stay in touch with African spirits Spiritual calling – retreat and fasting at Spiritual the cotton tree the Female dominated Queens Miss Queenie Miss Revival Revival Strong Strong female presence presence Rastafari: Rastafari: Strong male Strong presence presence ...
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- Spring '10
- Christianity, WEST AFRICAN RELIGION