Centering Afrocentric Spirituality in Afro-Christian Narratives
Examining Afrocentric and indigenous spiritual rituals in the Contemporary Caribbean reveal routes to references that wed ancient African wisdom-systems to the variety of technologies currently practiced. These spiritual traditions simultaneously encompass those that came into being as a direct result of their volatile interaction with and defiant reinterpretation of Christianity. While Obeah, Vodou and Lucumi-Orisha practices have occupied the imagination of many scholars of Africana religions for quite some time, the Spiritual Baptist faith, more readily found in the eastern and southern Caribbean has not gained the same level of sustained academic inquiry and community respect up until now.. In this symposium, graduate students, and lecturers of the Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus come together to celebrate how African Spirituality is re-inserted in Afro-Christian narratives. Our panelists reflect on the healing dimensions of herbs, signs and words, breathing divine utterances as sonic and embodied practices that enliven and elevate the Spirit. Along with our filmmaker, they reflect on their own positionality as practitioners and researchers reflecting critically on their sacred practice as well as seeing those points of interconnection with other healing traditions and across broader socio-cultural themes. Our final presenter challenges the Anglican Church in Barbados to face how its colonial policy impacts its status as we seek to center Afrocentric Spirituality in Afro-Christian narratives.