Matching Items (4)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

149748-Thumbnail Image.png

Creating New Orleans: race, religion, rhetoric, and the Louisiana Purchase

Description

Though some scholars have written about place and history, few have pursued the use of place theory in length in relation to the connections between race, religion, and national identity. Using the writings in the United States and Louisiana in

Though some scholars have written about place and history, few have pursued the use of place theory in length in relation to the connections between race, religion, and national identity. Using the writings in the United States and Louisiana in the years surrounding the Louisiana Purchase, I explore place-making and othering processes. U.S. leaders influenced by the Second Great Awakening viewed New Orleans as un-American in its religion and seemingly ambiguous race relations. New Orleanian Catholics viewed the U.S. as an aggressively Protestant place that threatened the stability of the Catholic Church in the Louisiana Territory. Both Americans and New Orleanians constructed the place identities of the other in relation to events in Europe and the Caribbean, demonstrating that places are constructed in relation to one another. In order to elucidate these dynamics, I draw on place theory, literary analysis, and historical anthropology in analyzing the letters of W.C.C. Claiborne, the first U.S. governor of the Louisiana Territory, in conjunction with sermons of prominent Protestant ministers Samuel Hopkins and Jedidiah Morse, a letter written by Ursuline nun Sister Marie Therese de St. Xavior Farjon to Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington Cable's Reconstruction era novel The Grandissimes. All of these parties used the notion of place to create social fact that was bound up with debates about race and anti-Catholic sentiments. Furthermore, their treatments of place demonstrate concerns for creating, or resisting absorption by, a New Republic that was white and Protestant. Place theory proves useful in clarifying how Americans and New Orleanians viewed the Louisiana Purchase as well as the legacy of those ideas. It demonstrates the ways in which the U.S. defined itself in contradistinction to religious others. Limitations arise, however, depending on the types of sources historians use. While official government letters reveal much when put into the context of the trends in American religion at the turn of the nineteenth century, they are not as clearly illuminating as journals and novels. In these genres, authors provide richer detail from which historians can try to reconstruct senses of place.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

154485-Thumbnail Image.png

Rebirth of a lineage: the hereditary household of the Han Celestial Master and Celestial Masters Daoism at Dragon and Tiger Mountain

Description

This dissertation is a study and translation of the Hereditary Household of the Han Celestial Master (Han tianshi shijia 漢天師世家), a hagiographical account of successive generations of the Zhang family patriarchs of Celestial Masters Daoism (Tianshi dao 天師道) at Dragon

This dissertation is a study and translation of the Hereditary Household of the Han Celestial Master (Han tianshi shijia 漢天師世家), a hagiographical account of successive generations of the Zhang family patriarchs of Celestial Masters Daoism (Tianshi dao 天師道) at Dragon and Tiger Mountain (Longhu shan 龍虎山) in Jiangxi province that was compiled in stages between the late fourteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The Zhang family emerged in the late Tang or early Five dynasties period and rose to great prominence and power through the Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasties on the basis of the claim of direct and unbroken lineal descent from Zhang Daoling 張道陵 the ancestral Celestial Master whose covenant with the deified Laozi in 142 C.E. is a founding event of the Daoist religion. In this study I trace the lineal history of the Zhang family as presented in the Hereditary Household in chronological parallel to contrasting narratives found in official histories, epigraphy, and the literary record. This approach affords insight into the polemical nature of the text as an assertion of legitimacy and allows for a demonstration of how the work represents an attempt to create in writing an idealized past in order to win prestige in the present. It also affords the opportunity to scour the historical record in an attempt to ascertain a plausible timeframe for the origin of the movement and to explore the relationship of the Hereditary Household to earlier hagiographic works that may have informed it. This study also contextualizes the Hereditary Household in the post-Tang religious climate of China. In that period the establishment of lineal authenticity and institutional charisma through narratives of descent became a widespread tool of legitimation employed by Buddhists, Daoists, and Confucians in hopes of obtaining imperial recognition and patronage.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

153044-Thumbnail Image.png

Gurucaritra pārāyaṇ: social praxis of religious reading

Description

This dissertation project addresses one of the most critical problems in the study of religion: how do scriptures acquire significance in religious communities in ways that go beyond the meaning of their words? Based on data collected during ethnographic work

This dissertation project addresses one of the most critical problems in the study of religion: how do scriptures acquire significance in religious communities in ways that go beyond the meaning of their words? Based on data collected during ethnographic work in Maharashtra, India, in 2011 and 2012, I analyze the complex relationship between a religious text and its readers with reference to ritual reading of the Gurucaritra, a Marathi scripture written in the sixteenth century. I argue that readers of the Gurucaritra create a self-actualized modern religiosity both by interpreting the content of the text and by negotiating the rules of praxis surrounding their reading activity.

In particular, this dissertation analyzes the ways in which members of the Dattatreya tradition in urban Maharashatra ritualize their tradition's central text-- the Gurucaritra--in terms of everyday issues and concerns of the present. Taking inspiration from reader-response criticism, I focus on the pArAyaN; (reading the entire text) of the Gurucaritra, the central scripture of the Dattatreya tradition, in the context of its contemporary readings in Maharashtra. In the process of reading the Gurucaritra, readers become modern by making a conscious selection from their tradition. In the process of approaching their tradition through the text, what they achieve is a sense of continuity and a faith that, if they have the support of the guru, nothing can go wrong. In the process of choosing elements from their tradition, they ultimately achieve a sense of being modern individuals who work out rules of religiosity for themselves.

This dissertation contributes to the study of scriptures in two major ways: first, by bringing forth how religious communities engage with scriptures for reasons other than their comprehension; second, by showing how scriptures can play a crucial role in religious communities in the context of addressing concerns of their present. Thus, this research contributes to the fields of scripture studies, Hinduism, and literary criticism.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

158315-Thumbnail Image.png

The English Translation of the Epitaph of the Wu Kingdom Transcendent Duke Ge of the Left Palace of the Grand Bourne by Tao Hongjing

Description

This thesis is a translation and analysis of the “Epitaph of the Wu Kingdom

Transcendent Duke Ge of the Left Palace of the Grand Bourne” (Epitaph below). The author was Tao Hongjing (456 CE-536 CE). The subject of this Epitaph inscribed

This thesis is a translation and analysis of the “Epitaph of the Wu Kingdom

Transcendent Duke Ge of the Left Palace of the Grand Bourne” (Epitaph below). The author was Tao Hongjing (456 CE-536 CE). The subject of this Epitaph inscribed on a stele was Ge Xuan (trad. 164 CE-244 CE). Ge Xuan had two titles attributed to him by later Daoists. According to the Lingbao scriptures, Ge was appointed by the Perfected of Grand Bourne, a heavenly title. Later, in the Shangqing scriptures, Ge Xuan was said to be an earthly transcendent without any heavenly appointment. This debate occurred before Tao Hongjing began to write. This stele epitaph is essential, as it records sayings from both Lingbao and Shangqing scriptures. By reading this translated epitaph, scholars can know more about different versions of Ge Xuan's legend, as well as how Ge Xuan's legend was constantly rewritten by later Daoists.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2020