Synopses & Reviews
Against the background of social, cultural and ecclesiastical influences, this book describes the development of Christian churches in the English-speaking Caribbean during the entire colonial era, from 1492 to West Indian independence from Great Britain in 1962. It focuses especially on the leading church personalities and ordinary Christians who shaped this history.
Christianity came to the Caribbean under the auspices of the Spanish Catholic Church and its religious orders. With 17th-century English colonization came not only Protestantism but considerable religious diversity -- Anglican, Puritan, Quaker, and Huguenot denominations all arrived. During later decades of colonial rule, immigrants from India and elsewhere contributed new religious elements. Tracing this evolution from a monopolistic state church to pluralism, Arthur Dayfoot explores all aspects of religious life from the disestablishment of the Church of England to the varieties of missions to the islands to issues of tolerance and social justice -- especially the clash between religion and the values of a slave society.
Without denominational bias, this work includes analysis of regrettable traditions as well as those that inspire celebration -- a comprehensive study that integrates church history with a total view of colonialism in the West Indies.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -329) and indexes.