Religion as a Weapon

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Religion and myth are two powerful subjects that Caribbean writers have used to their advantage in many of the works we have read this semester. Many religious qualities that are expressed today in the Caribbean were at one time influenced by early African beliefs. The Christian faith, for example, has been an influence on various Caribbean religions, while at the same it has been the target of rejection. The rejection of European culture is a pervasive theme for many post-colonial Caribbean writers, and with this, there has been a rejection of European values. For most cultures, religion is something that is valued highly. Sometimes one thinks of religion as being merely an agent of social control, when if fact it is an extremely revolutionary force. Below, my goal is to illustrate how Caribbean writers have used religion, whatever that particular one or more than one may be, and used it as a weapon, to promote their own culture, or attack another's. The presence of numerous religious expressions in the Caribbean has added to the overall perception of the culture. God is perceived as interested in both men and women being themselves, as products of their own individual culture. There is a general theme that is prevalent in many of the Caribbean religions that the universe is one that contains both visible and indivisible worlds. The cosmos is the part that is spirit filled, with a high spiritual power, along with lower spiritual powers, and human beings in nature. There is a belief that the spirit world is associated with success, or that the follower of the religion can ascertain high positions of power through the spiritual world. He or she can make advancements through the use of worship rituals, which include drawing, drumming, dancing, myths, legends, movements, and many more. Some critics believe that these religions are too "fantastical", but in fact this is what makes them unique. Religion is...
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