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Title Experiments with power : Obeah and the remaking of religion in Trinidad / J. Brent Crosson.
Author Crosson, J. Brent (Jonathan Brent), author.
Publication Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2020.
Description pages cm
Series Class 200, new studies in religion
Class 200, new studies in religion.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Introduction -- Part One: The depths -- Interlude 1: Number Twenty-One Junction -- What Obeah does do : Religion, violence, and law -- Interlude 2: In the valley of dry bones -- Experiments with justice : on turning in the grave -- Interlude 3: To balancethe load -- Electrical ethics : on turning the other cheek -- Part Two: The nations -- Interlude 4: Where the Ganges meets the Nile, I -- Blood lines : race, sacrifice, and the making of religion -- Interlude 5: Where the Ganges meets the Nile, II -- A tongue between nations : spiritual work, secularism, and the art of crossover -- Part Three: The heights -- Interlude 6: Arlena's haunting -- High science -- Epilogue: the ends of tolerance.
Summary "J. Brent Crosson's Experiments with Power opens in Trinidad in 2011 with the declaration of a state of emergency. Arguing that the nation's dramatic upsurge in violence was due to "thugs" and "demons," the government arrested thousands of people, mostlyblack men from lower-class neighborhoods. Under martial law, the police and military enjoyed near-total impunity and yet, to everyone's surprise, six of the seven police officers involved in civilian deaths were actually arrested for murder. The single-word explanation, in the words of a TV host, was obeah, sorcery. Crosson uses this episode to set up an illuminating ethnography of Trinidad's complex religious ecosystem. Obeah is a pejorative term to describe the activities of Afro-Caribbean spiritual workers, ones long associated with retributive force. Obeah was only decriminalized in Trinidad in 2000, and it remains a crime in much of the rest of the Anglophone Caribbean. Crosson examines obeah as a category and interrogates legal, religious, and popular definitions of the work, including those generated by the spiritual workers themselves. In describing their own justice-making practices as work, science, and experiments with power, obeah practitioners challenge the moral and racial foundations of theWestern category of religion and offer a way of reframing religious practice as a critique of the exclusionary limits of religion in modernity"-- Provided by publisher.
Subject Obeah (Cult) -- Trinidad and Tobago -- Trinidad.
Trinidadians -- Religion.
Religion and sociology -- Trinidad and Tobago -- Trinidad.
Justice -- Religious aspects.
ISBN 9780226705484
022670548X

1 copy ordered for Central 2nd Fl - HBR New Books on 10-13-2020.