Rastafari: Roots and Ideology (Utopianism & Communitarianism)

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9780815602965: Rastafari: Roots and Ideology (Utopianism & Communitarianism)

Interviews with 30 converts from the 1930s and 1940s are a component of Barry Chevanne's book, a look into the origins and practices of Rastafarianism. From the direct accounts of these early members, he is able to reconstruct pivotal episodes in Rastafarian history to offer a look into a subgroup of Jamaican society whose beliefs took root in the social unrest of the 1930s.

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From Booklist:

The term Rastafari connotes reggae music and Bob Marley to the masses, but Rastafari is much more than a backdrop of red, yellow, and green banners for music videos. Chevannes examines the religion's history and development in detail, which means his book is also a social history of Jamaica. Chevannes begins by tracing the cultural roots of the Rastafari movement to the slave trade in Jamaica from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century, in reaction to which a foundation was laid for the spirit of resistance that was later a major factor in Rastafari's spread on the island. Chevannes also closely attends to the internal rifts and doctrinal disputes that caused denominational splits within the movement. As Rastafari moved into the larger world, some of its teachings, such as the strict observance of menstrual taboos, were attacked. Chevannes' analysis of that growth and how it is changing present-day Rastafari is fascinating and illuminating. No fanbook for couch-bound "Waspafaris" sitting around the plastic bong, this is a serious look at a living, growing religion. Mike Tribby

From Library Journal:

According to social anthropologist Chevannes, understanding the Jamaican-born movement that takes its name after the prince, or ras, named Tafari Makonnen who was crowned in 1930 as Ethiopia's Emperor Haile Selassie requires looking not so much at dreadlocks or reggae but at the worldview of the Jamaican peasantry who replaced rural with urban poverty as they migrated to Kingston in the early 1930s. Drawing on his 1974 dissertation fieldwork, Chevannes traces Rastafari to forms of cultural reconstruction, including idealization of Africa, and to the belief system and ethics of what he calls Revivalism. Revivalist beliefs, which helped the peasants cope with oppression, turned on a hope of undoing European colonization and domination. Chevannes's writing style is stilted and his view is not comprehensive, yet there is little literature on the subject that would allow placing his work in context. For collections on Jamaica, the African diaspora, or millenarian movements.
Thomas J. Davis, SUNY at Buffalo
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Descripción Syracuse University Press 12/1/1994, 1994. Paperback or Softback. Estado de conservación: New. Rastafari: Roots and Ideology. Book. Nº de ref. de la librería BBS-9780815602965

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Barry Chevannes
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Descripción Syracuse University Press, United States, 1994. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Interviews with 30 converts from the 1930s and 1940s are a component of Barry Chevanne s book, a look into the origins and practices of Rastafarianism. From the direct accounts of these early members, he is able to reconstruct pivotal episodes in Rastafarian history to offer a look into a subgroup of Jamaican society whose beliefs took root in the social unrest of the 1930s. The little that most people know about Rastafarianism has come through the Jamaican music, Reggae, which resonates with the contemporary social and political struggle of the poverty-stricken cities of Trenchtown and Kingston. Bob Marley and the Wailers, for instance, with their politically charged lyrics about the ghetto, became emissaries for the Jamaican poor. Here Chevannes traces Rastafarianism back to 1930 s prophet Marcus Garvey and his mass coalition against racial oppression and support of a free Africa. Before Garvey, few Jamaicans, the overwhelming majority of whom had been brought to the island from Africa and enslaved by Europeans, held positive attitudes about Africa. The rise of black nationalism, however, provided the movement with its impetus to organise a system of beliefs. Likewise, Chevannes explores the movement s roots in the Jamaican peasantry, which underwent distinct phases of development between 1834 and 1961 as freed slaves became peasants. The peasants established themselves in the recesses of the island and many eventually moved to cities, where the economic and social hardship already inherent in Jamaican society, was even more desolate. Between 1943 and 1960, detrimental social changes transformed Jamaica s rapidly expanding cities. Kingston s population grew by 86 percent, and crime and disease were rampant. It was under this severe social decay that Rastafari became a hospice for the uprooted and derelict masses. As a spiritual philosophy, Rastafarianism is linked to societies of runaway slaves or maroons and derives from both the African Myal religion and the Revivalist Zion churches. Like the revival movement, Rastafarianism embraces the 400-year-old doctrine of repatriation. Rastas believe that they and all Africans who have migrated are but exiles in Babylon and are destined to be delivered out of captivity by a return to Zion or Africa - the land of their ancestors and the seat of Jah Rastafari himself, Haile Selassie I, the former emperor of Ethiopia. Rastafari is a work with an historical and ethnographic approach that seeks to correct several misconceptions in existing literature - the true origin of dreadlocks, for instance. It should be of interest to religion scholars, historians, scholars of Black studies, and a general audience interested in the movement and how Rastafarians settled in other countries. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780815602965

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Descripción Syracuse University Press, 1994. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería 0815602960

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Barry Chevannes
Editorial: Syracuse University Press, United States (1994)
ISBN 10: 0815602960 ISBN 13: 9780815602965
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Descripción Syracuse University Press, United States, 1994. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Interviews with 30 converts from the 1930s and 1940s are a component of Barry Chevanne s book, a look into the origins and practices of Rastafarianism. From the direct accounts of these early members, he is able to reconstruct pivotal episodes in Rastafarian history to offer a look into a subgroup of Jamaican society whose beliefs took root in the social unrest of the 1930s. The little that most people know about Rastafarianism has come through the Jamaican music, Reggae, which resonates with the contemporary social and political struggle of the poverty-stricken cities of Trenchtown and Kingston. Bob Marley and the Wailers, for instance, with their politically charged lyrics about the ghetto, became emissaries for the Jamaican poor. Here Chevannes traces Rastafarianism back to 1930 s prophet Marcus Garvey and his mass coalition against racial oppression and support of a free Africa. Before Garvey, few Jamaicans, the overwhelming majority of whom had been brought to the island from Africa and enslaved by Europeans, held positive attitudes about Africa. The rise of black nationalism, however, provided the movement with its impetus to organise a system of beliefs. Likewise, Chevannes explores the movement s roots in the Jamaican peasantry, which underwent distinct phases of development between 1834 and 1961 as freed slaves became peasants. The peasants established themselves in the recesses of the island and many eventually moved to cities, where the economic and social hardship already inherent in Jamaican society, was even more desolate. Between 1943 and 1960, detrimental social changes transformed Jamaica s rapidly expanding cities. Kingston s population grew by 86 percent, and crime and disease were rampant. It was under this severe social decay that Rastafari became a hospice for the uprooted and derelict masses. As a spiritual philosophy, Rastafarianism is linked to societies of runaway slaves or maroons and derives from both the African Myal religion and the Revivalist Zion churches. Like the revival movement, Rastafarianism embraces the 400-year-old doctrine of repatriation. Rastas believe that they and all Africans who have migrated are but exiles in Babylon and are destined to be delivered out of captivity by a return to Zion or Africa - the land of their ancestors and the seat of Jah Rastafari himself, Haile Selassie I, the former emperor of Ethiopia. Rastafari is a work with an historical and ethnographic approach that seeks to correct several misconceptions in existing literature - the true origin of dreadlocks, for instance. It should be of interest to religion scholars, historians, scholars of Black studies, and a general audience interested in the movement and how Rastafarians settled in other countries. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780815602965

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