Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Waghorne, Joanne


Hinduism, Temple, Trinidad, West Indian

Subject Categories



In this thesis, I argue that West Indian temples are a material articulation of an Indo-Caribbean Hindu identity that no longer claims India as home. The hyphenated identity of Indo-Caribbeans does not allow them to be fully represented by either South Asian or Caribbean cultures. Hence Caribbean temples, like the Indo-Caribbean identity, attempts to combine two different worlds. By tracing the political and social events that led to the development of a separate Hindu identity from that of East Indians, I demonstrate the ways in which Hinduism in Caribbean combines Hindu nationalism with features from Christianity into a unique form of Hinduism. I argue that West Indian Hinduism is not simply "borrowing" from Christianity or merely articulating Hinduism in opposition to Christianity, but rather it unites the two which in turn alienates it from mainstream Christianity as well as from Hinduism as practiced in India. As a result, West Indian Hinduism exists in the tension created between Christianity and Hindu reform movements. I propose that this tension is especially evident in West Indian temples in the United States as demonstrated by temples in Orlando, Florida and Queens, New York


Open Access

Included in

Religion Commons