Religion and Rebellion in Marlon James’ ‘John Crow’s Devil’

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Dr Jillella Mercy Vijetha


John Crow’s Devil is a religious fiction. "one of my characters is both a church sister and an obeah woman, because she really doesn't see the difference" (Annie Paul 2006), James says of Lucinda, exemplifying his interest in the way religion may morph into mysticism when rational thought is absent. Since the 18th century, when Edward Long first highlighted the Obeah man's (religious leader's) role in the 1760 Tacky Rebellion (Margarite Fernández Olmos and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gerbert 31), religious tensions have been a source of strife in Jamaica. Both Bedwardism (a Caribbean hybrid religion that mixes Christian and African traditions) and Obeah (a spirit religion with African roots) are described in this article, along with other important theological and political backdrops for the characters in John Crow's Devil.


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