This Spot of Ground: Spiritual Baptists in Toronto represents the first detailed exploration of an African-Caribbean religion in the context of contemporary migration to Canada. Toronto is home to Canadas largest black population, a significant portion of which comprises Caribbean migrants and their descendants. This book shows how the development of the Spiritual Baptist religion in Canada has been shaped by the immigration experiences of church members, the large majority of whom are women, and it examines the ways in which religious experiences have mediated the members' experiences of migration and everyday life in Canada. This Spot of Ground is based on a critical ethnography, with in-depth interviews and participant observations of church services and other ritual activities, including baptism and pilgrimage and field research in Trinidad that explores the transnational linkages with Spiritual Baptists there. The book addresses theoretical and methodological issues also, including the development of perspectives suitable for examining diasporic African religious and cultural expressions characterized by transnational migration, an emphasis on oral tradition as the repository of cultural history, and linguistic and cultural hybridity. This Spot of Ground contributes new information to the study of Caribbean religion and culture in the diaspora, providing a detailed examination of the significance of religion in the immigration process and identity and community formations of Caribbean people in Canada.
Carol B. Duncan is Chair of the Department of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Her areas of research interest include Caribbean religion and culture in diasporic and transnational contexts. She has published on the Spiritual Baptists, the Black Church, black women and motherhood, and race, gender, and representation in film. Duncan is a co-author of the textbook Black Church Studies: An Introduction (Abingdon Press, 2007). In 2006--2007 she was a research associate in the Womens Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School and a visiting associate professor of Women's Studies and Religion and Society.