Chapter 4

The Spiritual Baptist Faith:Manifestations

In the previous chapter I presented an account of the beliefs and ceremonies of the Spiritual Baptist Faith in Trinidad. In this chapter I will give an account of that aspect of their faith that, to the outsider, appears to be its most characteristic feature: the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the body of a person. This phenomenon is known to most Trinidadians as “catching power” or “catching spirit”; and indeed, these phrases have entered the general vocabulary of Trinidad and Tobago where they refer to those behaviours such as fits, tantrums, and the like. The converted generally refer to the behaviours associated with the phenomenon of manifestation as “shouting,” and their faith occasionally ...

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