Skip to main content

Spiritual Terror and Sacred Authority in Jamaican Slave Society

Buy Article:

$53.17 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Through spectacular punishments committed upon the corpses of the enslaved, the Jamaican plantocracy tried to harness the affective power of the dead and awe of the afterlife to its material authority. Though the intent was to terrorize the spiritual imagination, the routinization of terrifying spectacles only aided in the creation of novel understandings of the relationship between dead bodies, haunting spirits, and political authority, understandings that could also enhance the authority of those enslaved men and women who were willing to rise up and strike their masters. Both the enslaved and their overlords tried to elevate their authority by connecting it to the transcendent. In other words, they attached worldly concerns to sacred power.

Keywords: Jamaica; authority; obeah; slavery; state execution; terror

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2003

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more