Heimkehr aus Babylon

ISBN 978-3-89645-913-8

Heimkehr aus Babylon

Rastafari repatriieren nach Äthiopien

Author: Carsta Schnabel. With a preface by: Kai S. Cortina.

Series: Topics in Interdisciplinary African Studies Volume 43

16 pp. Roman, 621 pp.
3 colour maps, 1 b/w map, 44 colour photos, 1 colour figure, 1 b/w areal photograph, appendices: 1. König Salomon und die Königin von Saba, 2. Orientierungspunkte im Jamaican Säfär (‚jamaikanisches Viertel‘), 3. Lautgetreue Umschrift der amharischen Schrift in lateinische Schrift
Text language(s): German
Format: 180 x 240 mm
1220 g
€ 39.80

Only a small number of the men and women who refer to themselves as Rastafari are able to reach the utmost goal of this movement: Repatriation – turning away from “Babylon”, synonymous with Western culture and values, which are considered as profoundly wrong, and returning home to the land of their ancestors – to Africa. During her research visits to the international Rastafari community in Shashemene / Ethiopia the author looks into the personal living conditions under which the repatriates took up the chal­lenge of migration. She gains insight into their current situation through intensive conversations. What was the decisive factor prompting them to turn towards Rastafari? What motivated them to return to Ethiopia? And how does it feel to finally live there?

On the basis of statements made by her informants and own observations, Carsta Schnabel charac­terises the social fabric of this community with its wide range of biographies, cultural backgrounds and beliefs, while also taking into account the Ethiopian perspective on the repatriates. She draws a multifaceted picture of Rastafari livity in Shashemene as well as of the surrounding Ethiopian culture and brings into focus interaction and mutual reception.

Not only does Carsta Schnabel’s account particularly leave room for a deeper insight into Rastafari, but her personal perception is also revealed – an encounter with spiritually motivated migrants in their new social environment.

Following this link, you will find the full text of the review by Andrea Hollington.

Following the link at the bottom, you will find a free sample of this exciting book:


Schnabel’s account of her initial travels to the East African country is enriched by detailed background information on the development and history of Rastafari, together with its transnational and Biblical ties. Her in-depth descriptions of encounters with Rastafari and Ethiopians during the initial stages of her study offer insights into her personal perceptions of the environment, the individuals and the cultural and spiritual background. [...] In conclusion, the book makes a valuable contribution to the history of repatriation to Ethiopia by focusing on bibliographical narratives and aspects of community life. While there are other publications on the Rastafari community in Shashemene (e.g. Bonacci 2010, 2015, MacLeod 2014), Schnabel’s monograph constitutes the first comprehensive account of the community in German. The book is written for a broader readership beyond academia, and will draw attention to those people who are interested in Rastafari and Reggae, Ethiopia, migration, intercultural communication, and biographies.

Andrea Hollington in Afrikanistik-Ägyptologie-Online, https://www.afrikanistik-aegyptologie-online.de/archiv/2018/4683, pp. 1-5

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