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7139: Around internet dialogue on Vodou -Response to Max Beauvoir (fwd)

From: Marc Christophe <mactof@erols.com>

Hi Max,

	I have been following, from a distance, your conversation with Leslie 
Desmangles and Manbo Racine Sans Bout on and around Haitian Vodou and 
I think that your comments on the Vodou Lwa are very incisive.  I also 
thimnk that they emanate not only from one who is  a Houngan, but also 
one who is interested in the cosmological framework of Vodou.
 I have always believe that Vodou  is a concept in transformation, 
that it is a metaphysical construct still awaiting for Houngans or 
Manbos capable of looking at it from within and underline its 
principal tenets in the same way that Paul, Thomas of Aquinas and 
Augustine "conceptualized" Christianity and moved it away from its 
Jewishness and from so call "paganistic" believes like  Zoroastrianism 
or Arianism. What  today is considered as the Churche's dogmas (the 
divinity of Christ, the Trinity) were, say from the sixth century on, 
results of highly intellectual discussions among the Churches's 
	I am particularly interested in your view of the lwa as 
manifestations, expressions of  the divine, avatars(?).  Is there a 
similarity between your perception of the lwa as parcels or diverse 
manifestations of the divine, and the concept of the divine 
encountered in Hinduism (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Krishna and the other 
Hindu gods being also mafestations, avatars of a Godhead?).
	Coincidentaly, The Haitian Institute of Washington, on Sunday March 
4, is organizing a comparative Religion Program during which two 
documentaries will be screened:  "Legacy of the Spirits", a film by 
Karen Kramer, and "Puja, Expressions of Hindu Devotion" produced by 
the Smithsonian Institution.  I believe that both films support your 
observation on the correlation between a supreme entity (a God) whose 
divinity or divine parcels are expressed into lesser (?) gods, spirits 
or Lwas.
I recommend these two documentaries to anyone interested in Haitian 
Vodou, its urban transformation in New York City, or  its metaphysical 
similarities with Hinduism and the Hindu rituals of "Pujar".