As part of the Colloquium Series Political Imaginaries Across Latin America and the Caribbean, CLACS at NYU is hosting a lecture by Elizabeth McAlister, Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University.
A network of global evangelicals understands the world to be a spiritual battleground in which they are the chosen warriors in Christ’s army. This talk draws on recent ethnographic fieldwork to look at how American prayer warriors train for the spiritual battlefield. It describes how Americans engage evangelicals in Haiti to fight against the creole religious tradition called Vodou, which they consider a Satanic enemy. Spiritual warfare theologians and warriors imagine an invisible, more real realm with spiritual entities and legal codes that, once understood, can give a believer access to the same powers as Jesus Christ himself.
Elizabeth McAlister is Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. Her research focuses on Afro-Caribbean religions, transnational migration, neo-pentecostalism, and race theory, with a focus on Haiti. McAlister is author of Rara! Vodou, Power and Performance in Haiti and its Diaspora, a book and CD ( University of California Press, 2002) that is an ethnography of a musical, religious, and political festival. Her second book, Race, Nation, and Religion in the Americas (Oxford University Press, 2004) is a volume co-edited with Henry Goldschmidt, which theorizes race and religion as linked constructs. McAlister has produced albums of Afro-Haitian religious music: Rhythms of Rapture, (Smithsonian Folkways) and Angels in the Mirror (Ellipsis Arts). Her current research examines what she terms “negative and aggressive forms of prayer,” including the “Spiritual Warfare” movement and its global networks, particularly in the circuits between the United States and Haiti. Most of her published articles can be found online at: http://emcalister.faculty.wesleyan.edu/
Adedamola Osinulu, Clinical Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies at NYU, will serve as a discussant for this lecture.
This event is free and open to the public. ID required for entry.