“Refuge and Deliverance: Pentecostalism, Spiritual Warfare, and Politics in Jamaica”, Kijan Bloomfield

Time: 12:00 to 1:15 PM
Location: 142 Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex, Northeastern University
Sponsored By: Philosophy and Religion Department, Program in African and African-American Studies
Contact: Katie Molongoski

Kijan Bloomfield, Lecturer, Princeton University

A Pentecostal church in Tivoli Gardens, a garrison community located in Kingston, Jamaica, is the spiritual home for women and youth who are also survivors of a violent 2010 security operation. Believers viewed the event as an instance of divine judgement and also evidence of God’s care. Using an ethnographic approach, this presentation explores church members’ efforts to create and sustain full, meaningful lives in the aftermath of the incursion. Through their faith, they redefine politics and political action in order to secure goods and opportunities the Jamaican state is unable to provide. The gendered experiences of women and youth in Tivoli Gardens reveal the promises and challenges of Pentecostalism in creating spiritual community in response to social marginalization and precarity.

Kijan Bloomfield is a doctoral candidate in the Religion, Ethics, and Politics subfield. Her research areas include African American religious thought, religion in the African Diaspora, global pentecostalism, and Caribbean philosophy. Her dissertation is an interdisciplinary project that explores the role of religious ethics in the history of social change in Jamaica from the late 19th century to the present. She earned an A.B. in Religion from Bowdoin College and a M.A. in International and Transcultural Education from Columbia University. She is currently a visiting researcher in the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies at UWI Mona while she completes ethnographic fieldwork in Kingston, Jamaica.

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