Overcoming Self-Negation: An Examination of the Relationship between Junkanoo and the Church in Contemporary Bahamian Society

Turner, Carlton (2015) Overcoming Self-Negation: An Examination of the Relationship between Junkanoo and the Church in Contemporary Bahamian Society. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Self-Negation as understood in this research project is the tendency for the African Caribbean people to belittle their African heritage and valorise their European one while being a product of both. This has led to deeply considered critical responses from Caribbean historians, literary and cultural icons, and revolutionary figures. However, this has not been adequately addressed within Caribbean theological reflection, particularly in the way that Self-Negation manifests in the relationship between the Church and African Caribbean indigenous cultural productions. Located in the field of Caribbean Theology, this research project explores and describes the complex relationship between the Church and Junkanoo in contemporary Bahamian society for the purpose of suggesting praxes for addressing Self-Negation. It employs an interdisciplinary Practical, Contextual approach to Theology using ethnographic methods such as interviews and observations to access and reflect on the inner experiences of Bahamians as they integrate or separate the two in every day life. The following conclusions are made as a result of the findings: firstly, the Junkanoo/Church relationship is complex and self-negating; it is marked by dichotomy, ambivalence, and dissonance in identity. Secondly, both the Church and Junkanoo contribute to Self-Negation, but can, and do, also contribute to Overcoming, the opposite process. While the former is perpetuated by a hermeneutic of dichotomy, which continually sees Church and Junkanoo as incompatible, the latter is perpetuated by a hermeneutic of embrace, which sees them as already integrated, mutually critical and creative spaces in which African Bahamian religiocultural identity is affirmed. Thirdly, theologically reflecting on the problematic concept of sin at the heart of the Junkanoo/Church relationship, namely the conflation of African religious and cultural heritage with sinfulness, the research argues for a hermeneutic of embrace to undergird integrative practices between Junkanoo and the Church.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Hewlett, Daviddhewlett1@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Vernon, Rachelervernon1@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information: Award conferred by the University of Gloucestershire in partnership with The Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Junkanoo-Church relationship, Bahama; African Bahamian religiocultural identity; Caribbean theology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2016 11:03
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 21:37
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3788

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