Leonard E. Barrett, Sr., is emeritus professor of religion at Temple University. His previous works include Soul-Force- African Heritage in Afro-American Religion, which was nominated for a National Book Award, and The Sun and the Drum, an examination of the African roots of Jamaica's folk culture.
Removes the aura of bizarre mystery from the Jamaican messianic movement whose members smoke marijuana for ritual purposes and believe that Ethiopia is the Promised Land for all blacks. Setting the Rastafarians in the context of . . . colonial exploitation, Barrett shows how the cult has been nourished on grinding poverty, examines its belief system, dynamics, rituals, art and music, and its 'ambivalent routinization' within Jamaican society. . . . Students of religion and sociology, fans of reggae music, and the general reader will gain much from this unusual study. --Publishers Weekly
"The most thorough, careful consideration of the Rasta phenomenon available to the general reader." --Boston Phoenix "Barrett's account is authoritative and original; it is a work for the serious student of culture, religious sects and Caribbean studies. . . . An important contribution." --Folklore Review "Leonard Barrett's The Rastafarians stands as the most solid, complete treatment available in this country to date." --New Age