Religion, myths and beliefs: Their socio-political roles

  • Robert J. Stewart


The Caribbean is a religious region as distinctly as it is a region in geographical, historical, linguistic, literary and musical terms. It is a place where world religions have flowed together, and where European distinctions of secular and sacred, Church and State, and human society and divine community have been defied. After slave emancipation - as early as the 1790s with the revolution in Haiti and as late as 1886 in Cuba - the close relationship between religion and socio-political issues established in the era of slavery was manifest. The most dramatic example of this in the anglophone Caribbean was the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica, 31 years after British slave emancipation. It was a movement of political protest among black Jamaicans that would have been unlikely outside of a religious matrix in this case, the native Baptists - that provided motivation and leadership. It was a relationship that could not be dissolved, and was ill-explained, by modern Western distinctions between religion and politics.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 2003

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  • Robert J. Stewart

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