Creole Religions of the Caribbean

From Vodou and Santería to Obeah and Espiritismo

An Introduction

Margarite Fernández Olmos
and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert

371 Pages, ISBN 978 1 47980 348 4     
Published by New York University 2003, Third Edition 2022     

Creole Religions of the Caribbean offers a comprehensive introduction to the overlapping religions that have developed as a result of the creolization process. Caribbean peoples drew on the variants of Christianity brought by European colonizers, as well as on African religious and healing traditions and the remnants of Amerindian practices, to fashion new systems of belief. From Vodou, Santería, Regla de Palo, the Abakuá Secret Society, and Obeah to Quimbois and Espiritismo, the volume traces the historical-cultural origins of the major Creole religions, as well as the newer traditions such as Rastafari.

This third edition updates the scholarship by featuring new critical approaches that have been brought to bear on the study of religion, including queer studies, environmental studies, and diasporic studies. It also expands regional considerations of the diaspora to the US Hispanic communities that are influenced by Creole spiritual practices, taking into account the increased significance of material culture, art, music, literature, and healing practices influenced by Creole religions.

Margarite Fernández Olmos is Emerita Professor of Spanish and Latin American literatures at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She is the author or co-editor of many books, including The Latino Reader: An American Literary Tradition from 1542 to the Present.

Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert is Professor of Caribbean culture and literature in the Department of Hispanic Studies and The Environmental Studies Program at Vassar College, where she holds the Sarah Tod Fitz Randolph Distinguished Professor Chair. She is the author of a number of books and is coeditor with Fernández Olmos of Healing Cultures: Art and Religion as Curative Practices in the Caribbean and its Diaspora.

"Creole Religions of the Caribbean approaches readers as if they were out-of-town guests at a dinner party, thoroughly acquainting them with the topics of conversation and encouraging them to mingle among the liveliest characters."
- The Journal of Religion

"Bravo! A well-written text that de-mystifies Creole spiritual practices and places them in historical perspective ... a major contribution."
- Multicultural Review

"Provides a unique sociocultural, historical and political analysis of Caribbean religion."
- Centro Journal

"Offers an excellent ... multidisciplinary introduction to the scholarship in this area of study."
- New West Indian Guide

(The text above comes from the back of the book)     

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