“African Religion and the Haitian Revolution: The Case of Romaine-la-Prophetess”
Professor & Chair of Religion
Who was Romaine-la-Prophetesse and what was the function of African religion in his becoming one of the most influential insurgent leaders during the first year of the Haitian Revolution (1791/1792)? This presentation seeks to answer this question, with a particular focus on Kongolese religious forms and the early emergence of the cult of the Virgin Mary as a central feature of Haitian religion.
Having formerly served as Professeur de Sociologie des Religions at l’Université d’État d’Haïti, Terry Rey is Professor and Chair of Religion at Temple University, in North Philadelphia. Educated at universities on four continents, and having lived ten years of his adult life in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire), he works primarily in the fields of the anthropology and the history of African and African diasporic religions, and is author or editor of a half-dozen books, including, “Bourdieu on Religion: Imposing Faith and Legitimacy (Routledge, 2007) and The Priest and the Prophetess: Abbé Ouvière, Romaine Rivière, and the Revolutionary Atlantic World (Oxford University Press, 2017), as well as dozens of scholarly articles, book chapters, and reviews. Rey is currently working on three books, one about the Polish dimensions of Haitian religion and culture, another on the history of Congolese Christianity, and another on Bourdieu and Islam. A native of the Jersey Shore, he is an avid surfer.