Nature in the Rastafarian Consciousness Essay

Nature in the Rastafarian Consciousness Essay

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Nature in the Rastafarian Consciousness

Living in harmony with the environment and the laws of Nature is one of the central ideas of Rastafarianism. To live in accordance with the Earth is to live in accordance with Jah; it is incorporated into the morality that is Rastafarian consciousness. The Rasta's reverence for nature is influenced by the traditional African religions which are still practiced in Jamaica and which have also influenced Christianity on the island tremendously. Hinduism, too, has influenced many Rastafarian beliefs and practices. Through the Rastafarian's calculated rejection of Western cultural norms they have come to realize capitalism and the environmental destruction it has caused as Babylon, a place of destruction and greed. In order to escape this"Babylon system"a lifestyle has been employed that is focused on a correlation between man and nature. This lifestyle is an environmentally sound ideal that others around the World are only now beginning to strive for.

The African Tradition

In order to understand the Rastafarian idealism relating to the environment we must first consider the traditions from which it came. In Jamaica, the survival of the African religious tradition can be felt throughout the island. Most clearly this religious tradition is demonstrated by Kumina groups. Kumina is generally accepted as being West African in origin; brought here by the Ashanti. These people above all others were taken for the slave trade because the British regarded them as an especially sturdy and good for labor (Barrett 16,1997.) The Ashanti came to dominate slave, and later, peasant society, especially within the realm of religion. The practice eventually spread throughout the slave World (Barrett 17,19...


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...go Press 1986)

5) Jacobs, Virginia Lee Roots of Rastafari (San Diego, Slawson Communications, Inc 1985)

6) Johnson-Hill, Jack A. I-Sight, The World of Rastafari: An Interpretive Sociological Account of Rastafarian Ethics (Metuchen N.J., The American Theological Library Ass. And Scarecrow Press, Ink. 1995)

7) Morrish, Ivan Jamaica and its Religions (Cambridge, James Clarke and Co. 1982)

8) Reddington, Norman Rastafari History, http://lamar.colostate.edu/~`laingg/rasta.html May 1995

9) Turner, Terisa Arise Ye Mighty People: Gender, Class, and Race in Popular Struggles,"The New Society"(Trenton, Africa World Press, 1994)

10) Witvliet, Theo A Place in the Sun: An Introductio to Liberation Theology in the Third World (SCM Press Ltd. 1985)

11) Youd, Ital Itations of Jamaica and I Rastafari... the First Itation (Miami, Judah Anbesa Ihntahnahshinch 1987)

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