BILIMNAME, vol.34, no.2, pp.247-286, 2017 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Title of Journal : BILIMNAME
  • Page Numbers: pp.247-286


The Rastafarian movement originated in the 1920s in Jamaica, inspired by the teachings of a Jamaican, Marcus Garvey. As a syncretic, messianic and millenarian movement Rastafarianism is linked to the roots of resistance to slavery among descendants of the black African slave families. Emerged in Jamaica, Rastafarian movement is the biggest and most recognized local movement today. Therefore, it has a philosophy that can change society and has the capacity to gather crowds around. In recent years, there is an increasing attention to this movement not only in Jamaica, where it originated, but also in America, England, Canada and Africa. Although the movement began to emerge in 1930s, things written about it was based on superficial and hearsay information. As a result, Rastafarian movement is generally misunderstood both in Jamaica and elsewhere. It is possible to say that among today's thousands of similar cults, Rastafarians have an important number and influence. Local ethnic religious movements and messianic/millennial movements are topics that researchers on phenomenology of religion and history of religions put emphasis on. On the other hand, sociologists and anthropologists are concerned with the social aspects of such movements while researchers on policy study their ideology. Psychological understandings of these groups have also been studied respect to their reaction with colonialism. Linguists study the original jargons of these movements, while theologians emphasize the theological aspects.