Dealing with the ongoing interaction of rich and diverse cultural traditions from Cuba and Jamaica to Guyana and Surinam, Nation Dance addresses some of the major contemporary issues in the study of Caribbean religion and identity. The book's three sections move from a focus on spirituality and healing, to theology in social and political context, and on to questions of identity and diaspora.
The book begins with the voices of female practitioners and then offers a broad, interdisciplinary examination of Caribbean religion and culture. Afro-Caribbean religions, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are all addressed, with specific reflections on Santerķa, Palo Monte, Vodou, Winti, Obeah, Kali Mai, Orisha work, Spiritual Baptist faith, Spiritualism, Rastafari, Confucianism, Congregationalism, Pentecostalism, Catholicism, and liberation theology. Some essays are based on fieldwork, archival research, and textual or linguistic analysis, while others are concerned with methodological or theoretical issues. Contributors include practitioners and scholars, some very established in the field, others with fresh, new approaches; all of them come from the region or have done extensive fieldwork or research there. In these essays the poetic vitality of the practitioner's voice meets the attentive commitment of the postcolonial scholar in a dance of "nations" across the waters.
About the Author:
Patrick Taylor is Associate Professor in the Division of Humanities and in the Graduate Programme in Social and Political Thought at York University, Toronto. He is past Deputy Director of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean and Editor-in-Chief of the Caribbean Religions Project. Author of The Narrative of Liberation: Perspectives on Afro-Caribbean Literature, Popular Culture and Politics and co-editor of Forging Identities and Patterns of Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, his articles have appeared in Callaloo, Studies in Religion, and other scholarly journals and books.