Darren Middleton

Aug 31, 2015

Rastafari and the Arts

An Introduction

Routledge 2015

purchase at bookshop.org While many are familiar with the call for 'One Love' from the music of Bob Marley they more than likely know little about the tradition that this message is rooted in. In Rastafari and the Arts: An Introduction (Routledge, 2015), Darren Middleton, Professor of Religion at Texas Christian University, introduces his readers to Rastafari through the creative expressions of its members in literature, art, film, and music. He traces the development of the tradition in Jamaica and abroad, including Ghana, Britain, and Japan, as well as highlighting key narrative, doctrinal, social, and ethical teachings. In our conversation we discussed Haile Selassie, Rastafari and Gender, the literary tradition of insiders and outsiders, the notion of Babylon, the great masters of dub poetry, including Mutabaruka and Benjamin Zephaniah, documentary film, the role of reggae and Rastafari in Japanese culture, ethnographic work in Ghana, British Rastas, Bob Marley, and the commodification of Rastafari.

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Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kpeterse@odu.edu.

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