Rastafari : From Outcasts to Culture Bearers

3.84 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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Rastafari. The word immediately conjures a host of strong, disparate images. To some, the Rastafarian Movement, which emerged from the ghettos of Jamaica in the 1930s, is embodied by a dreadlocked youth in a haze of marijuana smoke. To others, it represents an authentic, organic expression of working-class culture, a vibrant movement that has expanded to North America, the British Isles, and Africa. Ennis Barrington Edmonds moves beyond simple stereotypes to provide a compelling portrait of the Rastafarian phenomenon and chronicle how a once-obscure group, much maligned and persecuted as an internal threat to Jamaican society, became an international cultural force. He focuses in particular on the internal development of Rastafarianism as a social movement to track the process of this strikingly successful integration. He also demonstrates how African and Afro-Christian religions, Ethiopianism, and Garveyism were all fused into the Rastafari posture of resistance, organised as it is around charismatic figures. Rastafari presents an intimate account of a unique movement, which over the course of several decades institutionalised itself to become the international cultural, political, and musical force it is today.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 158 x 230 x 22mm | 458.13g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195133765
  • 9780195133769

Review quote

Ennis Edmonds provides a lucid and thought-provoking argument for how Rastafari has become established as a mainstay in Jamaican culture. Modifying Weberian notions of routinization and charisma, Edmonds demonstrates how Rastafari symbols have permeated Jamaican society, ensuring the continued existence of the movement despite its minimal formal structure. Rastafari is important not only to scholars of Caribbean religions, but to anyone interested in how new religions find a stable place in society. * Richard C. Salter, Department of Religious Studies, Hobart and William Smith Colleges *show more

About Ennis B. Edmonds

Born and raised in Jamaica, Ennis Barrington Edmonds is Director of Multicultural Affairs at Barnard College.show more

Rating details

13 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 15% (2)
4 54% (7)
3 31% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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