ABOUT THIS BOOK
Pentecostals throughout Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora use music to declare what they believe and where they stand in relation to religious and cultural outsiders. Yet the inclusion of secular music forms like ska, reggae, and dancehall complicated music's place in social and ritual practice, challenging Jamaican Pentecostals to reconcile their religious and cultural identities. Melvin Butler journeys into this crossing of boundaries and its impact on Jamaican congregations and the music they make. Using the concept of flow, Butler's ethnography evokes both the experience of Spirit-influenced performance and the transmigrations that fuel the controversial sharing of musical and ritual resources between Jamaica and the United States. Highlighting constructions of religious and cultural identity, Butler illuminates music's vital place in how the devout regulate spiritual and cultural flow while striving to maintain both the sanctity and fluidity of their evolving tradition.Insightful and original, Island Gospel tells the many stories of how music and religious experience unite to create a sense of belonging among Jamaican people of faith.