“Future Books on Haitian Protestantism and the Current State of Religious Scholarship in Haiti “

“Future Books on Haitian Protestantism and the Current State of Religious Scholarship in Haiti “

I am very excited about the prospect of two forthcoming books in the English language that would deepen our knowledge and understanding of various segments or expressions of Haitian Protestantism in Haiti. I have a friend who is working on a book on (neo-)Pentecostalism in Haiti, and I am currently editing a book for Bloomsbury Publishing on the relationship between Haiti’s three major religious traditions: Protestant Evangelicalism, Catholicism, & Vodou. In this volume, I am fortunate to have as contributors some of the most important scholars who have written in English on Haitian Protestantism.

I am also editing another book for Wipf and Stock Publisher on interreligious dialogue between Vodouizan and Evangelical Christians in Haiti. Again, I am a happy guy to have as contributors a list of illustrious religious scholars on the subject matter.

***As a side note, allow me to say one or two more words on the subject matter: Contemporary scholarship on the religious experience of the Haitian people has given considerable attention to the Vodou religion, and that has been the case since the publication of Jean Price-Mars’ seminal book, “Ainsi Parla l’Oncle” (1928)/”Thus Spoke the Uncle.” I would call “l’Oncle” the inaugural text on Haitian Vodou Tradition or study. By contrast, Catts Pressoirs’ two volume work in the French language on Haitian Protestantism (“Le Protestantisme haitien,” 2 tomes, 1945) inaugurated contemporary scholarship on Haitian Protestantism. Interestingly, for many religious scholars in the English language, it is Charles Poisset Romain’s celebrated text, “Le Protestantisme dans la société haïtienne”/”Protestantism in Haitian Society” (1986) that is considered the “classic text” on the subject matter.

*A little interesting fact most people do not pay attention to or probably do not care to know is that those (the majority) who have written the most important works on the religious experience and expressions of the Haitian people are not academically trained religious scholars or theologians; they are anthropologists, ethnologists, historians, sociologists, literary scholars, etc., who have made substantial contributions in the field of religious study and Christian scholarship in Haiti.

As a last note, religious scholars, theologians, and other specialists on the subject matter need to explore other contemporary religious dimensions of the Haitian people; for example, some of the emerging (slowly growing) religious traditions in the Haitian society include the Baháʼí Faith, Islam, Rastafarianism, New Age, etc. Thanks to Dr. Bertin Louis for giving us the most important work on Haitian Protestantism in the Diaspora: “My Soul Is in Haiti: Protestantism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas” (NYU, 2016). Yet there are few studies in English on the diasporic dimensions of Haitian Protestantism in the United States, what Bertin calls “Haitian Transnational Protestantism.” I can make the same claim for lack of scholarship or studies on Haitian Catholicism in the English language.

#mayishaitianheritagemonth

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