Jamaica Genesis: Religion and the Politics of Moral Orders

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This study examines how Pentecostalism has managed to achieve such ascendancy in a former British colony among people of predominantly African descent. This book argues that it has flourished because it successfully mediates between two historically central, yet often oppositional themes in Jamaican religious life: the characteristic African striving for personal freedom and happiness, and the Protestant struggle for atonement and salvation through rigorous ethical piety. The author of this work considers that, with its emphasis on the individual experience of grace and on the ritual efficacy of spiritual healing, and with its vibrantly expressive worship, Jamaican Pentecostalism has become a compelling vehicle for the negotiation of such fundamental issues as gender, sexuality, race and class. She intends the book to address all those concerned, not simply with Caribbean studies, but with the ongoing transformation of religion and culture.