Rastafari Reasoning and the RastaWoman: Gender Constructions in the Shaping of Rastafari Livity examines the complex ways that gender and race shaped a liberation movement propelled by the Caribbean evolution of an African spiritual ethos. Jeanne Christensen proposes that Rastafari represents the most recent reworking of this spiritual ethos, referred to as African religiosity. The book contributes a new perspective to the literature on Rastafari, and through a historical lens, corrects the predominant static view of Rastafari women.
In certain Rastafari manifestations, a growing livity developed by RastaMen eventually excluded women from an important ritual called "Reasoning"-a conscious search for existential and ontological truth through self-understanding performed in a group setting. Restoring agency to the RastaWoman, Christensen argues that RastaWomen, intimately in touch with this spiritual ethos, challenged oppressive structures within the movement itself. They skirted official restrictions, speaking out in public and written forums whenever such avenues presented themselves, and searched for their own truth through conscious intentional self-examination characteristic of the Reasoning ritual.
With its powerful, theoretically informed narrative, Rastafari Reasoning and the RastaWoman: Gender Constructions in the Shaping of Rastafari Livity will appeal to students and scholars interested in religious transformation, resistance movements, gender issues, critical race studies, and the history and culture of the English-speaking Caribbean.
Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 202
Weight: 435 g
Dimensions: 240 x 163 x 21 mm
This book is an excitingly meticulous exercise in 'lived religion,' one that reveals RastaWomen confronting the movement's numerous restrictions. . . .[The author's] work is a small but not minor part of her life's legacy . . . It is a lovely gift to Rastafari as they move into a new era. It is highly recommended. * Religious Studies Review *
Christensen's Rastafari Reasoning and the Rasta Woman adds another brick to the small but rising wall of gendered analyses of the Rastafari.... This book is a succinct treatment of Rastafari: a refresher if you know the literature, and a good place to start if you do not. The discussion of the Rastafari gender transition between the 1940s to 1970s, for example, draws on well-known material but weaves it together in fresh ways. Readers will find that the book has a conversational tone and that the content easily digested. Scholars of Rastafari should read it. In addition, the book would serve well graduate and undergraduate students learning about Jamaica, Black religions, gender and history, and the Rastafari. * Nova Religio: The Journal Of Alternative And Emergent Religions *