Lewis, “Touloutoutou and Tet Mare Churches”

April 25, 2012

Lewis, Bertin M. Jr. 2012. Touloutoutou and Tet Mare Churches: Language, Class and Protestantism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas.  Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses 41(1): 1-15.

Abstract: Within Haiti’s growing transnational Protestant community, there are different types of churches and adherents that practice traditional forms of Protestant Christianity (such as the Adventist, Methodist and Baptist faiths) and Pentecostal/Charismatic forms of Protestant Christianity. Using Michèle Lamont’s work on symbolic boundaries, I explore how Haitian Protestants living in New Providence, Bahamas, differentiate these two major Haitian Protestant church cultures through the use of denigrating terms about differing religious traditions. Churches which practice traditional forms of Haitian Protestantism, for example, are sometimes called touloutoutou churches. Churches where Pentecostal/Charismatic forms of Haitian Protestantism are practiced are sometimes referred to as tet mare churches by some Haitian Protestants. In addition, practitioners’ descriptions reflect issues of social class and contested notions of Christian authenticity among Haitian Protestants in the Bahamas.

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