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Time and Memory in Reggae MusicThe Politics of Hope$
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Sarah Daynes

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719076213

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719076213.001.0001

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Hope and redemption

Hope and redemption

Chapter:
(p.141) 8 Hope and redemption
Source:
Time and Memory in Reggae Music
Author(s):

Sarah Dayens

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719076213.003.0009

The major characteristic of millenarian movements is the essential place they give to eschatology – that is, the mythical narrative of the end of the world – which, generally, implies both the destruction of the current world, rendered necessary by its gradual degradation, and the birth of a new, purified and regenerated world. This is the case of the Rastafari movement, whose eschatology is centrally based on the Revelation of Saint John. Interestingly, the eschatological narrative is one of the most central in reggae music. We live in the time of the prophecy, and the Apocalypse announced by the Bible is a near future that has already started. The rastas believe they are the descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel; this identification also takes on a fundamental messianic meaning within the eschatology, because it is linked to the lost tribes evoked in the Book of Revelation. Hope and redemption occupy a central and essential place within the eschatology. In relation to the specific context of the African diaspora, the advent of the New Jerusalem, Zion, is tied to Africa.

Keywords:   reggae, eschatology, hope, redemption, Rastafari movement, Book of Revelation, African diaspora, Zion, Apocalypse

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