Uniform TitleFaith and fortune: religious identity and the politics of profit in the seventeenth-century Caribbean
NameBlock, Kristen (author), Mack, Phyllis (chair), Bennett, Herman (internal member), Brown, Christopher (internal member), Morgan, Jennifer (internal member), Landers, Jane (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Religion and politics--Caribbean Area--History--17th century,
Caribbean Area--Social conditions--17th century
Description"Faith and Fortune" examines the intersection between religious allegiance and economic ambition on the volatile frontiers of the seventeenth-century Caribbean. Encompassing both Spanish and English colonies, it employs four case studies to explore how ordinary individuals created and manipulated the meaning of their religious affiliations. The first chapter examines cases of Christianized slaves in Cartagena de Indias who denounced their masters' harsh mistreatment as un-Christian, using their membership in the community of believers as leverage to demand better conditions. The second chapter is a study of the motley crew of Protestant Northern Europeans who, as sojourners in the Spanish Caribbean, converted to Catholicism as an assimilation strategy. The ideas and practice of English puritanism animate the third chapter's case study of the political economy of Oliver Cromwell's Western Design--a puritan crusade against the Spanish Catholic empire in the New World--using an analysis of race, class, and gender to examine its failures. The final chapter takes place in Barbados, birthplace of the English colonial "sugar revolution," where Quaker missionaries intent on Christianizing the local African slave population churned up fears of slave rebellion and challenged local Friends' interpretation of their own faith and convictions. "Faith and Fortune" personalizes the history of Caribbean inequalities from the perspective of slaves, sailors, servants, and sectarians who made their lives and fortunes in the profit-saturated landscape of the Caribbean. It illuminates how for them, articulating a Christian identity was a political act, an important power negotiation, and a way to articulate injustice.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 316-337).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.