Dialogue on Vodou and Christianity in Haiti?

Here’s my new article that just got published in Theology Today:

“Redefining cultural, national, and religious identity: The Christian–Vodouist dialogue?” Theology Today, 2016, Vol. 73(3) 241–262

Let me know what you think.



This essay examines the work of two prominent progressive Haitian Theologians: Laënnec Hurbon, a Catholic Theologian and former Priest, and Jean Fils-Aimé, a Protestant Theologian and former Pastor in Montreal, and their interaction with the Vodou religion. Both thinkers have written prolifically about the three major religious expressions in Haiti and the enduring religious conflict between Protestantism, Catholicism, and Vodou in the Caribbean nation. The history of relations between Christianity—both Protestant and Catholic—and Vodou in Haiti is marked by a high degree of combativeness, hostility, and discomfort. To resolve the religious tension between Haitian Vodou and Haitian Christianity, Hurbon has suggested a frank ecumenical dialogue between Vodou, Catholicism, and Protestantism, and carefully demonstrated the legitimation of Vodou in the Haitian experience and life. In the same line of thought, Fils-Aimé has recommended an inter-religious dialogue between the two religious traditions, and brilliantly argued for the inculturation of the Vodou faith in Haitian Protestantism and culture. Through their work, both thinkers continue to campaign for more religious tolerance, pluralism, and religious inclusivism in Haitian society. I am suggesting that the Catholic theologian Laënnec Hurbon in his classic work Dieu dans le vaudou haı¨tien (1972) has inaugurated what we phrase the Christian–Vodouist compromissory tradition. Following the footsteps of Hurbon, Fils-Aimé in his controversial and learned work Vodou, je me souviens, published in 2007, has done for Haitian Protestantism what Hurbon has achieved for Haitian Catholicism—pushing forward the idea of the inculturation of Vodou culture and practices in Protestant Christianity in Haiti—within the framework of a Protestant– Vodouist compromissory tradition.


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