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Beyond RastafarI

An Historical and Theological Introduction


Marzia A. Coltri

This book is an invitation to reflect on how a minority culture emerged from within «Third World» liberation movements. It considers not only the historical and cultural journey between Ethiopia and Jamaica, but also the psychological dynamics of subalterns between the East and the West.
In this work, the author discusses the various beliefs and ideologies of the RastafarI movement in relation to Ethiopia, and challenges the RastafarI misogynistic attitude by rehabilitating the position of women within the movement through the figure of the Queen of Sheba.
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This work would never have seen the light of day if it were not for my fateful meeting with two of my supervisors at Birmingham, who left an indelible impression on me. They opened a whole world to me and gave me the freedom to intellectually roam in it. They were Professor Rajah Sugitarajah (now Emeritus) and Dr Garnet A. Parris, who later edited my work for publication. I would like to acknowledge their abiding influence on my academic career and their continued friendship.

I wish to acknowledge the encouragement of my family in Italy, and to thank them for their support in the pursuit of my interests, even though this meant leaving my home country. Many others, such as Dr George D. Chryssides, Mary Ghali and Richard Gidwaney, have helped along the way and I am grateful for their companionship on the journey. I hope that my contribution to this movement as an Italian woman will be appreciated, and that Rasta women will be able to find their own voice, rather than being given one.

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