Pan-Africanism versus Afro-Christian Protestantism: Jamaica’s National Identity

By Rupert Phillips.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 26, 2016 $US5.00

This article challenges Pan-Africanists’ assertion that common racial heritage and the common suffering under slavery contributed to a feeling of solidarity, even across differences of old tribal allegiances. Instead, this article posits that the ideology and organizational structure of Protestant Christianity played the most important role in forging a Jamaican national identity. This article, which lays out Protestant Christianity’s path to the liberation of the black Jamaican population, is grounded in Max Weber’s thesis that Protestantism and capitalism are roots of human liberation of northern European countries of which Jamaica is an extension. This article serves as a counter-discourse to the conventional black Anglophone Caribbean and Jamaican scholarship, which posits that race is the nexus of black Jamaican group identity.

Keywords: National Identity, Jamaica, Caribbean National Identity, Christianity, Pan-Africanism

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 7, Issue 1, March 2017, pp.17-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 26, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 343.004KB)).

Rupert Phillips

Lecturer, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Hostos Community College, Yonkers, New York, USA