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|Anne Hart Gilbert (1768-1834) is the first known published African Caribbean woman writer. Her earliest extant piece of writing is an 1804 letter to the Methodist missionary Richard Pattison. This essay analyses Gilbert’s representation of the meanings of African diasporic culture and of Methodist conversion in the letter, a text marked by encounters between and across African and Methodist spiritual cosmologies. Gilbert’s collecting and mediation of local knowledges of religion points to the complexity and nuances of cultural crossing and creolization. Using a literary critical and historiographical approach, the essay demonstrates the need to contextualize ‘religion as a social framework, as a rhetorical construction, as part and parcel with ideology, and as a category of experience’ (Stein and Murison, 2010, pp. 3-4).|
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