In this short study, Canon Bazin, D. Min calls for a healthy dialogue between Christians and practitioners of traditional African religions and rejects the Eurocentric notion that such practices are equivalent to devil worship.
Reverend Jean Fritz Bazin is a priest of the Episcopal Church. He grew up in Haiti and attended seminary in Puerto Rico and in Miami, Florida. His many years of ministry among Haitians and other Caribbeans and Latin Americans have led him to a greater and more respectful appreciation of the expressions of the spiritual African heritage among people of African descent.
Why are people religious? What role does religion play in the course of their lives? How do history, culture, politics, and relationships come together to create meaning, purpose, and sustainability throughout the many and various struggles that assault the human soul and challenge the human spirit? All these are questions which arise in one’s mind as one reads the very important study The Cross And The Crossroad, which Fritz Bazin has so carefully produced. He pilots us through the maze of mystery that envelops both Vodun and Christianity, and skillfully demonstrates that they are not only channels of spiritual growth and cultural enrichment, but they are also means by which millions of believers, be they Haitians or otherwise, can find healing, solace, and strength with which to deal effectively with the many vicissitudes of life. Both symbols of Christianity (Cross) and Vodun (Crossroad) indeed draw people of faith into a higher relationship with the Divine, while empowering them to cope with life’s unending struggles for freedom and wholeness. This book will certainly make a difference for the better in the minds and hearts of those who carefully revel in its pages.
Kortright Davis, D.Phil.
Howard University School of Divinity