Chanting Down Babylon
The Rastafari Reader
Publication: Mar 98
Publication: Mar 98
7 x 10
1 table 1 figure
A comprehensive and indispensable study of the Rastafarian Movement
This anthology explores Rastafari religion, culture, and politics in Jamaica and other parts of the African diaspora. An Afro-Caribbean religious and cultural movement that sprang from the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, in the 1930s, today Rastafari has close to one million adherents. The basic message of Rastafarithe dismantling of all oppressive institutions and the liberation of humankindeven has strong appeal to non-believers who are captivated by reggae music, the lyrics, and the "immortal spirit" of its enormously popular practitioner, Bob Marley.
Probing into Rastafari's still evolving belief system, political goals, and cultural expression, the contributors to this volume emphasize the importance of Africana history and the Caribbean context.
"Long before the term 'Afrocentricity' came into popular use in the United States, Jamaican Rastafarians had embraced the concept as the most important recipe for naming their reality and reclaiming their black heritage in the African diaspora."
—Nathaniel Samuel Murrell, from the Introduction
Table of Contents
Part I. Ideology and the Cultural Context 1. Dread "I" In a Babylon: Ideological Resistance and Cultural Revitalization Ennis B. Edmonds 2. Rastafari: A Psychology of Blackness and Somebodiness Clinton Hutton and Nathaniel Samuel Murrell 3. Rastafari and the Exorcism of the Ideology of Racism and Classism in Jamaica Barry Chevannes 4. Gender and Family Relations in Rastafari: A Personal Perspective Maureen Rowe 5. Rasta Woman as Rebel Imani M. Tafari-Ama 6. The Epistemological Significance of "I-an-I" as a Response to Quashie and Anancyism in Jamaican Culture Adrian Anthony McFarlane
Part II. Roots and Historical Impact 1. African Dimensions of the Jamaican Rastafarian Movement Neil J. Savishinsky 2. Marcus Garvey and the Early Rastafarians: Continuity and Discontinuity Rupert Lewis 3. Who Is Haile Selassie? His Imperial Majesty in Rasta Voices Sister Eleanor Wint and members of the Nyabingi Order 4. The Rasta-Selassie-Ethiopian Connections Clinton Chisholm 5. Chanting Down Babylon Outernational: The Rise of Rastafari in Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Frank van Dijk 6. Chanting Down Babylon in the Belly of the Beast: The Rastafari Movement in Metropolitan USA Randal L. Hepner 7. A Personal Reflection of Rastafari in West Kingston in the 1950s George Eaton Simpson
Part III. Back-O-Wall to Hollywood, The Rasta Revolution Through the Arts 1. From Burru Drums to Reggae Ridims: The Evolution of Rasta Music Verena Reckord 2. Bob Marley: Rasta Warrior Roger Steffens 3. Chanting Change Around the World Through Rasta Ridim and Art William David Spencer 4. Towering Babble and Glimpses of Zion: Some Recent Depictions of Rastafari in Cinema Kevin Aylmer
Part IV. Religion: Livity, Hermeneutics, and Theology 1. Discourse on Rastafarian Reality Hon. Rex Nettleford 2. The Black Biblical Hermeneutics of Rastafari Nathaniel Samuel Murrell and Lewin Williams 3. The Structure and Ethos of Rastafari Ennis B. Edmonds 4. The First Chant: Leonard Howell's "The Promised Key" commentary by William David Spencer 5. Rastafari's Messianic Ideology and Caribbean Theology of Liberation Nathaniel Samuel Murrell and Burchell K. Taylor
Appendices: A. Emissaries of Rastafari: An Interview with Professor Leonard Barrett, Indego Bethea, Michael Bruny, and Adrian McFarlane B. Who Is Who in the Rasta Academy: For Starters, A Lit Review in Honor of Leonard Barrett