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.


The State of Protestantism in Haiti

The State of Protestantism in Haiti

The Haitian government is celebrating 200 years of the presence of Protestant Christianity in Haiti since its arrival in 1816, under the administration of President Alexandre Petion. However, Protestant’s activities in the Caribbean nation can be traced to colonial times and the slavery era in Saint-Domingue. Because Catholic missionaries, who have been appointed by the French monarchy, were chiefly responsible to catechize the enslaved population, the Protestant mission was quickly declined n the first one hundred years, if not less, of the slavery epoch. Also, the Catholic church was the official religion of the state and held tremendous power and influence over the religious and secular education of the Haitian people. Interestingly, Protestantism is the fastest growing religion in contemporary Haitian society; it is estimated 30 to 40% of the Haitian population is actively committed to the Protestant faith, a clear indication of the progressive decline of Haitian Catholicism and Haitian Vodou.

For more about this event, refer to the article listed below:

Les protestants célèbrent leurs 200 ans de présence dans le pays

Vodou Books Discounted Order Forms/Flyers

Hello, Friends:  Attached are the discounted flyers and order forms for both books:  Vodou in Haitian Memory: The Idea and Representation of Vodou in Haitian Imagination (Lexington Books, May 2016) by Celucien L. Joseph and Nixon Cleophat,  and Vodou in the Haitian Experience: A Black Atlantic Perspective (Lexington Books, May 2016) by Celucien L. Joseph and Nixon Cleophat.

With this flyer and order form , you can purchase both texts at a substantial discounted price. Click on the individual link below to download the form. It is in the PDF format.

Please circulate widely!


Joseph & Cleophat Vodou in the Haitian Experience International Flyer2


Joseph & Cleophat Vodou in Haitian Memory International Flyer1