The Role of Religion in Caribbean History with Patrick Hylton - From Amerindian Shamanism to Rastafarianism
The islands and continental territories of the Caribbean showcase as wide a diversity of religious beliefs and practices as can be found in any other region of the world. Aspects of the religious practices of the Indigenous peoples continue to be practiced in Guyana, Belize, and among the Black Caribs of Dominica. Catholicism, introduced into the region with the coming of Columbus competes with a wide variety of Protestant sects to be the dominant form of Christian worship. The syncretic religions, Santeria, Voodoo, and Obeah continue to be significant cultural forces. In addition, migration patterns in the 18th and 19th centuries, especially of indentured workers from the Indian sub-continent saw the introduction into the region of mainstream Eastern religions of Islam and Hinduism. The process of syncretism itself has produced a variety of Christian-based indigenous Caribbean religions of which the most well known is Rastafarianism.
In his thoroughly documented work, The Role of Religion in Caribbean History, Patrick Hylton traces the dynamic interplay of these practices as they unfolded in the plantation economies of the New World incorporating and reflecting both the oppression logical to the dominant economic form as well as the resistance of those whose subjugation was essential to the functioning of the economy.