ABSTRACT

Concerns over the maintenance of ethnic affiliation and conflicts with ethnic and subethnic rivals sparked interest in Christian conversion among enslaved Africans and people of African descent on the British West Indian island colony of Antigua in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Some enslaved Antiguans who identified themselves with larger ethnic groups joined Moravian mission churches to reunite with long-lost kinsmen and women and to try to find a culturally similar mate; those Afro-Antiguans who were not affiliated with large ethnic groups perceived the Moravian Church as a haven that protected them from menacing Old World antagonists. Together, Afro-Antiguans from hundreds of ethnic and subethnic backgrounds used the Moravian Church to create a new Afro-Atlantic Christianity.

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