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p. 1Introduction: comprehending Rastafarilocked

  • Ennis B. Edmonds


What is the appeal of the Rastafari movement? Is it the anti-establishment impulse the Rastas have come to represent? To understand Rastafari we must understand that it arose partly from a rejection of the hegemonic and homogenizing British imperial culture that dominated Jamaica's colonial empire, and partly from an effort to fashion an identity based on the re-appropriation of an African heritage. The Introduction explains the Rastafarian emphasis on the ‘I’ as the philosophical identity of its devotees. By using ‘I’ to denote Rastafarian consciousness of the self as divine, Rastafari elevates even its most socially marginalized adherents to a status close to godliness.

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