African-based Spiritual Outlook: Rastafarianism Essay

African-based Spiritual Outlook: Rastafarianism Essay

Length: 850 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Rastafarianism is an African-based spiritual outlook that emerged in Jamaica in the 1930s. It is considered as a religion by few, but by many people it is considered as “a way of life” because it is not very organized. In 1927, Marcus Garvey who is an Afrocentric, black political activist, made a prophecy that his race will be emancipated after a black king is crowned. Three years later, in 1930 Haile Selassie was crowned as king in Africa. Selassie was later declared as the savior by four Jamaican ministers.

Rastafarians believe that Haile Selassie is the messiah, who they refer to as “Jah” or God. They believe that one day he will lead them to the Promised Land. Although, Selassie died in 1975, his death is not accepted by many due to the fact that they believe he will come back one day; reincarnation. Selassie was known as “Ras Tafari Makonnen”, and this is how the name of the religion came to be. Rastafarianism began as a social stand against white people and middle-classes, because they viewed them as oppressors. They also wanted to recapture and reestablish their African heritage, because many of them felt that by being captured and taken to the Caribbean by slave traders, they were defrauded out of their heritage.

The Bible is taken as the sacred text by Rastafarians, but it is interpreted in an Afrocentric way. The reason behind the different interpretation of the Bible is to reverse the changes that they assume were made by white powers. They hold the black race as one of the tribes of Israel, and believe that the promise to the chosen people is relevant to them as well. Rastas also obtain many of the Old Testament prohibitions, like forbidding the cutting of their hair, and eating pork and shellfish. Rastafarians ac...

... middle of paper ...

... during slavery. In Rastafarianism, no two weddings are the same, they choose to be very diverse and different.

Lastly, Rastafarianism is growing very rapidly between people of many different cultures. The Rastafari movement has spread all around the world because of Bob Marley's famous music. The lyrics to most of Marley's songs contained the Rasta doctrine and many of things about the religion/way of life. Bob Marley's style of music was Raggae, and it was very popular, and still is on a certain level. There are many Raggae artists today, like Shaggy & Barrington, Sizzla, and Gyptian. Today, there appears to be more than one million followers of Rastafarianism, and most live in communes. Although, Rastafarianism is spread through Africa, most Rastafarians are from Jamaica. They settle in other places around the world like the Caribbean, US, UK, and Canada.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Garveyism and Rastafarianism

- Garveyism and Rastafarianism I. Introduction In the twentieth century, two movements have emerged out of Jamaica in protest of black oppression and slavery, both mental and physical. The first to evolve was Garveyism, founded by Marcus Garvey, and was born in the aftermath of the First World War. Rastafarianism was the second movement to emerge, lead by Leonard Howell during the depression years of the 1930’s. Garveyism and Rastafarianism are both resistance movements based on the same ideal: consciousness and essentialism of Africa and its descendants....   [tags: Jamaica Natural Mysticism]

Better Essays
3980 words (11.4 pages)

A Sociological View of Rastafarianism Essay

- Organized religion is a duality between the religion and the church which represents it. Sometimes the representation of the religion is marred and flawed to those who view it because of the bureaucracy contained within. Unknown to those who gaze upon the dissolved morals and values of what is perceived to be the contradiction known as modern religion, it was never intended to be this way. Most religions started off as a sect, a minor detail on the fringes of the society it never wanted to represent....   [tags: Religion Sociology Rastafarianism essays]

Better Essays
3687 words (10.5 pages)

Rastafarianism in Jamaica Essay

- Rastafarianism arose in the slums of Jamaica around the time between the nineteen twenties and nineteen thirties. It has a lot of inspirations of Christianity combined into its culture. Rastafarianism is a very interesting religion; it’s followers known as Rastafarians as well as Rasta’s or Rastafaris, derived from Jamaica to form a unique clan of Jamaican-English. For most Rastafarians what they believe is not a religion, but simply just a way of life. Rastafarians share their emotions about oppression, poverty, and black discrimination along with their religion....   [tags: Religion]

Better Essays
1526 words (4.4 pages)

Parallelisms and Differences:Rastafarianism and Judaism Essay

- Parallelisms and Differences:Rastafarianism and Judaism The two religions of Rastafarianism and Judaism embody many of the same characteristics, as well as their ancestry. Although the Rastafarians, at times, inaccurately explain the bible, their belief in the Old Testament is still prevalent. Many of the customs are almost identical, but the rationale behind the traditions and laws contrast greatly. In 1933, when Leonard P. Howell was arrested for using"seditious and blasphemous language,"to boost the sale of pictures of Haile Selassie, he stated that Selassie was,"King Ras Tafari of Abyssinia, son of king Solomon by the queen of Sheba."1 Howell knew that in later years factual informatio...   [tags: Rastafarianism Judaism Religion Essays]

Better Essays
6351 words (18.1 pages)

Spiritual Power: Emic and Etic Perspectives Essay

- Shamanistic healing is a special practice mainly of the people in Asia. The commentary presented by Yer Moua Xiong is written from a first person perspective to aid in the process of immersing oneself in the culture, and understanding truly what shamanism is all about. One central belief of the Shamans is the ability for the human soul to drift and wander, or even become lost from its host (Xiong 2003: 183). The body can host many souls, of which all can wander or be lost forever from a physical limb or organ detachment from the body (lecture, 1/25)....   [tags: Spiritual Healing]

Better Essays
1808 words (5.2 pages)

Religious and Spiritual Practices of Enslaved African Americans Essay

- The Community of Enslaved Africans and their Religious & Spiritual Practices. During a most dark and dismal time in our nations history, we find that the Africans who endured horrible circumstances during slavery, found ways of peace and hope in their religious beliefs. During slavery, Africans where able to survive unbearable conditions by focusing on their spirituality. Christianity was amongst the slave community. Being that the vast majority of the slave community was born in America, converting slaves to Christianity was not a struggle....   [tags: African American History, Religion, Slavery]

Better Essays
1736 words (5 pages)

Judiasm & Rastafarianism: A study of the Falashas Essay

- Judiasm & Rastafarianism: A study of the Falashas In this research paper I will discuss the ethnic groups of Africans in the Caribbean and Jews in Ethiopia. Jews in Ethiopia call themselves Beta Israel which means `house of Israel.' They are also known as the Falashas. Falasha means `stranger' or `immigrant' in the classical language of Ethiopia (the Ge'ez tongue). I will also describe the culture of the African people displaced into the Caribbean who identify themselves as the Rastafarians and the connections I have made between them and Judaism....   [tags: essays papers]

Better Essays
3346 words (9.6 pages)

Rastafarianism Essay

- Rastafarianism Rastafarianism began as a religion of the dispossessed. In 1930, a prophecy of deliverance was fulfilled for Jamaica’s slum-dwellers and rural poor. Ethiopia symbolized Africa and the homeland for the slave-descended Jamaicans. Ras Tafari Makennen, in 1930, became Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. Emperor Selassie claimed to be a direct descendent of King Solomon. Many Jamaicans were waiting for a black messiah. Selassie, who at his coronation was proclaimed Negusa Negast (King of Kings), and whose imperial name meant “Power of the Holy Trinity”, seemed to be the one....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
577 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on Reggae As Social Change:The Spread of Rastafarianism

- Reggae As Social Change:The Spread of Rastafarianism Throughout its existence, Jamaica has experienced numerous revolutions, riots, and various forms of social unrest. From early resistance by escaped slaves to all-out fighting to end slavery altogether, not to mention riots in past years, Jamaica has been in a constant state of resistance. All these efforts to make a change have created a Jamaican religion called Rastafarianism, and with it comes a very powerful means of transporting its message: reggae music....   [tags: essays papers]

Free Essays
4367 words (12.5 pages)

Rastafarianism Essay example

- Rastafarianism The Rastafarian religion has roots tracing to Africa, but it became well known in the ghettos of Jamaica. In these ghettos, a boy was born who would have an everlasting effect on the religion. This boy grew up to become a famous musician who then opened the world to the Rastafarian views and spread the Rastafarian message to thousands of people. Jamaica recognized his effect on the culture shortly before his death, which was mourned by millions. The man responsible for the worldwide recognition of the Rastafarian religion was Bob Marley....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
2122 words (6.1 pages)