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Title: The Anglican Church and Bahamian cultural identity : the role of Church-sponsored education, Prayer Book liturgy and Anglo-Catholic rituals in the development of Bahamian culture, 1784-1900
Author: Sands, Kirkley Caleb
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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The arrival and settlement of the Loyalists and their slaves in The Bahamas in 1784 effected a social, economic, and cultural revolution in this British colony. With the establishment of the Dioceses of Barbados and Jamaica in 1824, there dawned in The Bahamas, a part of the Diocese of Jamaica until 1861, a process of Anglicization hitherto unknown. As the raison d'être of its newly established Episcopal form of Church Government and in anticipation of slave emancipation in 1834, the Anglican Church was charged with the responsibility of preparing slaves in the British West Indies for responsible citizenship. The method employed was a process of civilization and conversion. The means were the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and Church sponsored English education. Through its educational system, however, the Church launched its greatest assault on the culture and identity of the Bahamian masses. By means of this system, the hierarchically structured world view of the English was substituted for the slaves' traditional West African world view. This initiated a process of destabilisation and trivialisation which could not but undermine Bahamian cultural identity. Yet, the meeting of the Evangelical and the Tractarian Traditions in the Anglican Church in The Bahamas, and the Ritual which followed in the wake of the Tractarian Movement gave rise to the rebirth of a powerful West African religious symbol, the circle, and the consequent role of the Ancestors in the mores and social reconstruction of Bahamian society. Through its education and its Liturgy, therefore, the Anglican Church facilitated and nurtured, albeit unwittingly, a Bahamian cultural identity which was consistent with both traditional West African religious culture, and the civilization and religion of England and the English Church.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available