Rastafari has been seen as a political organization, a youth movement, and a millenarian cult. This lively collection of papers challenges these categories and offers a "new approach" to the study of Rastafari. Chevannes and his contributors suggest that we can better understand Rastafari-and Caribbean culture, for that matter-by seeing the movement as both a departure from and a continuance of Revivalism, an African-Caribbean folk religion. By linking Rastafari to Revival, we can enrich our understanding of an African-Caribbean worldview, and we can appreciate Rastafari not only as a political force but as a powerful expression of African-Caribbean culture and tradition.
Barry Chevannes provides a concise overview of Rastafari and Revivalism and clearly lays out the volume's "new approach." Leading scholars of Rastafari illustrate and develop the theme with chapters on Rastafari as resistance, the origin of the dreadlocks, Rastafari and language, women in African-Caribbean religions and more. With chapters that range from the specific to the general, this volume will be important to specialists of Caribbean religion and the African diaspora and to those with a burgeoning interest in Rastafari.
The contributors include Jean Besson, Ellis Cashmore, Barry Chevannes, John P. Homiak, Roland Littlewood, H.U.E Thoden van Velzen, and Wilhelmina van Wetering.