OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 28, 2014, 09:12:35 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Rastafarianism  (Read 1118 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,983


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« on: July 10, 2012, 12:28:03 AM »

I've noticed that there seems to be a strong connection with some members and Rastafarianism.  From what I know about Rastafarianism, it's a religio-political movement that began as a means to cope with British domination of Jamaica.  While I have respect for Rasta's (and I love Reggae music), my curiosity has to do with A) what do Rasta's stand for and believe? and B) what is the connection between Rastafarian's and Orthodoxy? and finally 3) what is the attraction to Rastafarianism.

Please know that I am sincere and mean no disrespect to anyone.  Smiley

Your brother-in-Christ,

Gabriel
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Shiny
Site Supporter
Muted
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 12:29:04 AM »

The only thing I like about Rastafarian are the cool big beanie caps they wear. I can't remember what the name of it is called.
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
jah777
Warned
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 1,766


« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 12:42:18 AM »

You may be interested in the following interview of a former Rastafarian who converted to Orthodoxy:

http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/back_issue_articles/RTE_27/Songs_of_Freedom.pdf
Logged
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 12:47:13 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Have any Rastafarians ever visited your Orthodox parish? Have you heard of the growing numbers of Rastafarian converts to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church since the 1960s? Have you ever wondered what in the world is the connection? Perhaps this can help Smiley

1) Hand Drums:

The center of worship in the Rastafari tradition is the hand drum.  It is the instrument which drives all other worshipping hymns and music.  The drum was so powerful that during slavery in the Caribbean, which is the crucible of Rastafarian culture, playing the drum could carry a death sentence!  It is one of the distinctively pan-African traits amongst the Americas, and the Rastafarians in particular.  This kind of music is called Nyahbinghi, which is a mysterious word whose origins have been lost to oral history but loosely today is translated as "death to all oppression" in the spiritual sense. There are specific drum patterns for different purposes and occasions, and all are considered the sacred culture of "chanting."  These gatherings around the drum are called a "grounation." Through the drum, Rastafarians find our place in the world.  In the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition, the Kebero (a kind of kettle drum) is also a center of worship.  The kebero drum  is not used in the Divine Liturgy proper, but is the hallmark of Mezmur (hymns) and the Mahalet (Vigil) services.  Ethiopians have been making a raucous in Jerusalem every Easter and Christmas for at least the past thousand years.  When Rastafarians come to the Ethiopian Church, the drum immediately brings them to a sense of being at home. 

2) Veganism

The Fasting culture of especially the Ethiopian Orthodox calendar makes Rastafarians feel right at home.  Rastafarianism aspires to a diet and lifestyle called "ital" (I-speak for "vital" as in "I am vital") in which animal products, alcohol, and certain spices are strictly taboo.  The extensive fasting culture of the Ethiopian tradition makes veganism a ready fit for Rastafarians, who elsewhere seem to have a rather peculiar diet.  Rastafarians consider food a sacred gift, and maintain a culture of respect and gratitude regarding eating.  Food is always carefully considered and prepared.  In the fasting culture of the Ethiopian Church, Rastafarians find a way to exchange recipes.

3) Head Coverings:

Rastafarians emphasize head coverings,  especially for women but even for men as well.   Women generally have their heads covered not just at Church but at most occasions.  This is not just modesty but culture.  In Rastafari culture, many women are equally conservative and keep their heads wrapped or covered most of the time, but always in worship and public. When women are present for chanting, hymns, or worship in Rastafarian tradition, the services can't start until the "all clear" is sounded after all the women properly cover themselves if they weren't already. Men as well, under dreadlock culture, tend to keep their heads wrapped or covered also. Those who specifically wear turbans are from the Bobo Shanti dread culture which exclusively keep their heads covered in public at all times.  Rastafarian men and women then both feel at home when they come into the Ethiopian Church were Ethiopian women are similarly covered and where monks and priests wear turbans.


4) Rigid Gender Roles

The Rastafarian culture has rigid gender roles strictly in place.  Women and men have mutually exclusive roles and functions within the community.  Women are called "Queens" or "daughters" and men are "Kings" or "Princes" to emphasize the dignity inherent of all humans created in the image of God.  When Rastafarians address each other ("sight up") in royal titles, it is to also mutually respect the dignity of each other according to the Golden Rule, and to overpower the negative affects of slavery and racism which only alloted pejorative appellations for black men and women.  In Ethiopian Orthodox, gender roles are also strictly in place.  In the Church, in the household, on the job, at school, on the road, gender rules are the norm.  They are sometimes demeaning, sometimes empowering, but always present.  Sometimes the Church is wrongfully misunderstood as being chauvinist by outsiders, because women are not clergy, but we in the Church know that women's roles are often MORE important!  Women raise the family in the Tradition.  Women hold it down the most at Liturgy.  Women light all the candles, set up the Church for worship, prepare the meals, mind the children, take care of hospitality for visitors, women are the glue that keep the Church together and the gears that keep the Church moving forward. Further, there is little demonstration of public affection between the genders.  This is the same with Rastafarians.  In the old school Rastafarian dance halls, the men danced with the men, and the women danced with the women.  At worship services, gender segregation is strictly enforced, just as in the Church men and women stand separate.

5) Emphasis on Old Testament Imagery and Symbolism

The Ethiopian Church is absolutely saturated in Old Testament imagery and symbolism.  The Church building, the vestments and dress of priests and laity alike, the iconography, the ritual symbols, the incense, the bells, the lyrics to the hymns.  The Tabot culture of the Ark of the Covenant is especially resonating with Rastafarians.  The Tabot (Ethiopian Altar stone) is the center of the Ethiopian Church.  No Liturgy can be celebrated without one, and a Church is merely an empty building without its presence.  We have processions with our Tabotat (plural) which are the continuity of the Ark processions from the days of King David and Samuel.  Rastafarians, coming from the crucible of slavery, like many black peoples of the American Experience, also readily draw upon Old Testament symbols.  The Old Testament is a symbol of liberation for Rastafarians, and it saturates the daily life of Rastafarian people and the Rastafarian mind and world view.  When Rastafarians see so much of the Old Testament in the Ethiopian Church, it seems like a living fulfillment and embodiment of the Old Testament.

There are so many more links in this chain, but I think for now these are some of the biggest and most tangible connections. 



We also discussed this here

Blessings on this 81st Anniversary of the Coronation of HIM Haile Selassie I
Interview with Abuna Yesehaq on Haile Selassie
Should Haile Selassie be Canonized

To answer a bit of your question:

There are essentially four major branches of organized Rastafari (the preferred nomenclature as opposed to Rastafarian though some do say Rastafearian)

1) Nyahbinghi Theocratic Order

2) Bobo Shanti Black National Congress

3) Ethiopian World Federation

4) Twelve Tribes of Israel

1, 3, and 4 have been directly connected and involved with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church since the 1930s, HIM Haile Selassie I personally founded the EWF in Bath, England in 1937, and it is the direct historical connection between the monarchy and the Rastafari movement which was extensive until 1974.  HIM sent the Ethiopian Church to Trinidad in 1956 and to Jamaica in 1970, and ever since then, Rastafari brothers and sisters from these organizations (called mansions) and also many more unaffiliated folks have been baptised into the Church legitimately by the clergy.  There are of course many contentions and issues, true, but these are not uncommon even amongst the natives so to speak Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,983


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 12:58:40 AM »

Interesting, Habte.  You didn't mention anything about who they worship though.  Do they believe that Jesus is Lord and King?  What about the Trinity?  What about Haile Selassie?  I've read that Rasta's consider him some sort of deity even though he vehemently denied this.  And what does HIM stand for?  Do Rasta's focus solely on the Old Testament?  If they accept the New Testament, how does it fit into their views?  And finally, how did Rastafarianism begin?
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
orthonorm
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,343



« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 01:07:19 AM »


Good grief, burn that thread.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 01:07:42 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Interesting, Habte.  You didn't mention anything about who they worship though.  Do they believe that Jesus is Lord and King?  What about the Trinity?  What about Haile Selassie?  I've read that Rasta's consider him some sort of deity even though he vehemently denied this.  And what does HIM stand for?  Do Rasta's focus solely on the Old Testament?  If they accept the New Testament, how does it fit into their views?  And finally, how did Rastafarianism begin?

You can dig through those endless threads for such, its all there, I checked through them before I posted the links Smiley

The gist:

Some Rastafari folks worship the Emperor as the return of Jesus Christ.  Others do not at all.  I am one of those others, but there are thousands like myself, I didn't make up that interpretation, it was taught to me by many Elders. To be sure, there are plenty more majority of Rastafari would vehemently disagree, even to the point of denouncing my as not being Rastafari, but I am a card carrying member of TTI, those skylarkers can scoff all them like! None of the Elders and honest idren and sistren have ever turned away a hand of fellowship with I, and such will continue in the future in that true One Love.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 01:08:36 AM by HabteSelassie » Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
William
Warned
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Posts: 4,306


« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 01:16:17 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Interesting, Habte.  You didn't mention anything about who they worship though.  Do they believe that Jesus is Lord and King?  What about the Trinity?  What about Haile Selassie?  I've read that Rasta's consider him some sort of deity even though he vehemently denied this.  And what does HIM stand for?  Do Rasta's focus solely on the Old Testament?  If they accept the New Testament, how does it fit into their views?  And finally, how did Rastafarianism begin?

You can dig through those endless threads for such, its all there, I checked through them before I posted the links Smiley

The gist:

Some Rastafari folks worship the Emperor as the return of Jesus Christ.  Others do not at all.  I am one of those others, but there are thousands like myself, I didn't make up that interpretation, it was taught to me by many Elders. To be sure, there are plenty more majority of Rastafari would vehemently disagree, even to the point of denouncing my as not being Rastafari, but I am a card carrying member of TTI, those skylarkers can scoff all them like! None of the Elders and honest idren and sistren have ever turned away a hand of fellowship with I, and such will continue in the future in that true One Love.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Isn't being both Rasta and Orthodox syncretist or ecumenist?
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,983


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2012, 01:20:07 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Interesting, Habte.  You didn't mention anything about who they worship though.  Do they believe that Jesus is Lord and King?  What about the Trinity?  What about Haile Selassie?  I've read that Rasta's consider him some sort of deity even though he vehemently denied this.  And what does HIM stand for?  Do Rasta's focus solely on the Old Testament?  If they accept the New Testament, how does it fit into their views?  And finally, how did Rastafarianism begin?

You can dig through those endless threads for such, its all there, I checked through them before I posted the links Smiley

The gist:

Some Rastafari folks worship the Emperor as the return of Jesus Christ.  Others do not at all.  I am one of those others, but there are thousands like myself, I didn't make up that interpretation, it was taught to me by many Elders. To be sure, there are plenty more majority of Rastafari would vehemently disagree, even to the point of denouncing my as not being Rastafari, but I am a card carrying member of TTI, those skylarkers can scoff all them like! None of the Elders and honest idren and sistren have ever turned away a hand of fellowship with I, and such will continue in the future in that true One Love.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

You lost me with some of the terminology, but am I to understand that there is a split within Rastafarianism?  What do the Rasta's who do not accept the Emperor as the return of Jesus Christ believe, theologically speaking?  And what is TTI?  How did you become interested in Rastafarianism?  Finally, is this form of Rastarianism widely accepted within the Ethiopian Church?
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Tags: rastafari Rasta 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.066 seconds with 36 queries.