Matching Items (12)

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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.

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.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Walking to Magdalena: place and person in Tohono O'odham songs, sticks, and stories

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This dissertation examines songs, sticks, and stories pertaining to Tohono O'odham pilgrimages to Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, the home of their patron saint, Saint Francis. In the sense that Tohono O'odham

This dissertation examines songs, sticks, and stories pertaining to Tohono O'odham pilgrimages to Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, the home of their patron saint, Saint Francis. In the sense that Tohono O'odham travel to Magdalena in order to sustain their vital and long-standing relationship with their saint, these journeys may be understood as a Christian pilgrimages. However, insofar as one understands this indigenous practice as a Christian pilgrimage, it must also be noted that Tohono O'odham have made Christianity their own. The findings show that Tohono O'odham have embedded, or emplaced, Christianity within their ancestral landscapes, and that they have done so in a variety of ways through songs, staffs, and stories. This work emphasizes connections between O'odham processes of producing places and persons. Songs associated with the journey to Magdalena, which contain both geographical and historical knowledge, foreground the significance of place and the movements of various persons at the places mentioned within them. The staffs of O'odham walkers, like other sticks, similarly contain both geographical and historical knowledge, evoking memories of past journeys in the present and the presence of Magdalena. Staffs are also spoken of and treated as persons, or at least as an extension of O'odham walkers. O'odham stories of good and bad walkers illustrate contested O'odham ideologies of socially sanctioned movements. Finally, this dissertation concludes by demonstrating some of the ways in which O'odham senses of their own history diverge from academic models of Tohono O'odham history and the history of Christianity in the Americas.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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The Voodoo Spiritual Temple: a case study of New Orleans' spiritual churches

Description

This dissertation takes the material culture of New Orleans’ Spiritual Churches as its point of the construction and application of academic categories in studies of religions of the African diaspora.

This dissertation takes the material culture of New Orleans’ Spiritual Churches as its point of the construction and application of academic categories in studies of religions of the African diaspora. Because I am interested in what emic explanations reveal about scholarly categories and methods, a dialogic approach in which I consult practitioners’ explanations to test the appropriateness of academic categories is central to this work. Thus, this study is grounded in an ethnographic study of the Voodoo Spiritual Temple, which was founded and is operated by Priestess Miriam Chamani, a bishop in the Spiritual Churches. The Spiritual Churches first emerged in the early twentieth century under the leadership of Mother Leafy Anderson. Voodoo, Pentecostalism, Spiritualism, and Roman Catholicism have been acknowledged as their primary tributary traditions. This study examines the material culture, such as statues and mojo bags, at the Voodoo Spiritual Temple as it reflects and reveals aspects of Temple attendees’ world views. In particular, material culture begins to illuminate attendees’ understandings of non-human beings, such as Spirit and spirits of the dead, as they are embodied in a variety of ways. Conceptions of Spirit and spirits are revealed to be interconnected with views on physical and spiritual well-being. Additionally, despite previous scholarly treatments of the Spiritual Churches as geographically, socially, and culturally isolated, the material culture of the Voodoo Spiritual Temple reveals them to be embedded in transnational and translocal cultural networks.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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The Eki-Beki dispute and the unification of the Gauda Saraswat Brahman caste

Description

During the early twentieth century, a caste dispute known as the Eki-Beki dispute erupted among a group of historically related Konkani-speaking Brahman castes on the western coast of India. A

During the early twentieth century, a caste dispute known as the Eki-Beki dispute erupted among a group of historically related Konkani-speaking Brahman castes on the western coast of India. A faction among the castes argued that the variously related Konkani-speaking Brahman castes were originally one caste called the Gauda Saraswat Brahman (GSB) caste, which got split into several sub-castes. They further argued that the time had come to unite all these castes into one unified GSB caste. This faction came to be known as the Eki-faction, which meant the unity-faction. The Eki-faction was opposed by the majority of the members of the above-mentioned castes who disagreed with the idea of unification. This opposing faction came to be known as the Beki-faction, i.e. the disunity-faction. Despite the opposition from the majority, the Eki-faction managed to unite these different castes to form the contemporary unified GSB caste. The Gaud Saraswat Brahman caste in its current form is the product of this dispute. The formation of the GSB caste was initiated by members of these castes who had migrated from different rural regions of the western coast of India to the urban center Bombay. The rise of the GSB caste, however, became a contested process. Dominant non-GSB Brahman groups in Bombay discredited the migrants as being outsiders of lower ritual status. The unification movement was also opposed by the majority of these Konkani-speaking castes residing in the rural regions of the west coast of India. The struggle of the urban migrants for unification involved publication of Hindu texts and changes of normative practices, such as dining regulations and marriage arrangements, that affected the long-standing norms of maintaining ritual purity. Despite the opposition, the urban migrants partially succeeded in unifying the variously related Konkani-speaking Brahman castes. My dissertation is a history of this process.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Evolution of an Eschaton: An Analysis of On the Antichrist (CPG 3946) Attributed to Efrem the Syrian

Description

On the Antichrist (CPG 3946) is an eschatological sermon historically attributed to Efrem the Syrian. Composed in Koine Greek, On the Antichrist is not an authentic Efremic sermon but is

On the Antichrist (CPG 3946) is an eschatological sermon historically attributed to Efrem the Syrian. Composed in Koine Greek, On the Antichrist is not an authentic Efremic sermon but is attributed to the construct Greek Efrem, often called in the literature ‘Ephraem Graecus’. Sometime around the 12th century, Slavic Christians translated the work into Old Church Slavonic.

As its goal, this study employs On the Antichrist to investigate how religions (e.g. Christianity) employ religio-cultural constructs and either refine, or redefine, them for new audiences and circumstances. To accomplish this, the author transcribes and translates one of the most important manuscript witnesses of this sermon (labelled Ov1), translates it, compares it with other early witnesses, and analyzes the differences between the Greek and OCS versions of the text in order to ascertain the variations in the versions and to posit why such variations might have arisen in the transmission of this sermon. Finally, the critical edition is interrogated to propose a date of the autographic text-form of On the Antichrist to the 6th to 8th centuries.

This dissertation finds that multiple recensions of the sermon evolved from the earliest recension, the A Recension. The Old Church Slavonic recension of On the Antichrist falls squarely within the A Recension and seems to share a common ancestral tradition with the other A Recension manuscripts and help to reconstruct the early history of On the Antichrist. Thus, this dissertation provides one necessary step in preparation for the difficult task of preparing a critical edition of this sermon.

The sermon draws heavily upon 2 Thessalonians 2 and the Little Apocalypse. Two manuscripts overtly indicate multiple meters for the sermon, but two others only hint at such divisions, and the nature of the meters (Aramaic or Byzantine) is uncertain. The sermon itself references no datable historical events. The Greek of the sermon analyzing to a Late Koine/Early Byzantine cusp language datable to between the 6th to 8th centuries. For all the uncertainties and puzzles this sermon presents, the evidence clearly points to at least one conclusion: Efrem the Syrian (d.373) cannot have authored this work, and there is no way currently to ascertain the author.

Finally, this dissertation adduces an argument that Byzantine and Slavic Christians preserved On the Antichrist because of its emphasis upon humility and penitence, which allowed for the sermon to be incorporated into Orthodox liturgy by the 10th century.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Irish priests and Mexicans in Arizona: the Diocese of Tucson, 1945-1970

Description

ABSTRACT

This dissertation examines the encounter of a large cadre of 103 Roman Catholic priests from Ireland and their Mexican parishioners. Scholars have not explored this rich historical juncture. This is

ABSTRACT

This dissertation examines the encounter of a large cadre of 103 Roman Catholic priests from Ireland and their Mexican parishioners. Scholars have not explored this rich historical juncture. This is the first study to do so. Primary and secondary sources, as well as numerous oral history interviews provide the evidence that supports the thesis that the Irish priests and the Mexican people shared something of a common consciousness, resulting from similar histories, worldviews, and cultural values. This counters the prevailing scholarly opinion which excoriates Euroamerican churchmen of that time for misunderstanding and neglecting their Hispanic flock. Standing apart in this respect, most priests from Ireland--unlike clergy from other backgrounds-- were sympathetic to folk traditions and experienced a synergy with Mexican people which enabled them to adapt and learn from Hispanic communities.

Yet for all that Irish priests and Mexicans shared in common, these pastors failed to see or at least address the social, economic, and ecclesiastical discrimination which Mexicans daily experienced or challenge the systems which kept them subservient. Paradoxically, these clergy accepted Mexican people, but they also accepted the racist structures which marginalized them.

This historical moment is unique for two reasons. In the mid-twentieth century Irish-born priests were ubiquitous and constituted the largest number of Catholic missionaries in the world. Today there are scarcely enough priests to supply the parishes of Ireland. Similarly, in the mid- twentieth century Mexicanos and Mexican Americans were almost without exception Catholic.

Today this can no longer be taken for granted. These shifts presage the end of an era for the Church in Arizona. Nationally, they correspond to the denouement of long-standing U.S. Irish ecclesiastical establishment and herald the ascendancy of an Hispanic Catholic Church.

In reconstructing this history salient themes emerge: ethnicity, religion (official/popular), power relations, prejudice/discrimination, and the discovery of common ground amid differences. This matrix gives rise to a complex crisscrossing of trajectories of Catholics and Protestants (in society), Irish and Mexican Catholics (in the church), priest and parishioners (in the parish). It holds lessons for the future.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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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

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.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Preachin' the Blues: the intersection of Christian and blues exegesis and hermeneutics in the life and lyrics of Son House

Description

This thesis discusses the intersection of Christian and Blues exegesis and hermeneutics in the life and lyrics of Eddie "Son" House, a Baptist and Methodist preacher and Blues singer who

This thesis discusses the intersection of Christian and Blues exegesis and hermeneutics in the life and lyrics of Eddie "Son" House, a Baptist and Methodist preacher and Blues singer who was born in Lyon, Mississippi. It is intended as a biographical case study that highlights and explores the complex and multifaceted relationship between Black Protestant Preaching and Blues Singing/Preaching. In doing so, it critically appropriates Religious Studies theoretical and methodological considerations, orientations, and insights--particularly those from Charles Long and Paul Ricoeur--to examine the life, artistry, ministry, and lyrics of House in light of his expressed religious orientations and dual, often conflicting roles as a Christian Minister and Blues Preacher.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Minoritization of Pakistani Hindus (1947-1971)

Description

This dissertation discusses the processes of post-colonial minoritization of Hindus in Pakistan from the inception of the state in 1947 to the secession of the eastern wing (former East Pakistan,

This dissertation discusses the processes of post-colonial minoritization of Hindus in Pakistan from the inception of the state in 1947 to the secession of the eastern wing (former East Pakistan, now Bangladesh) from the country after a civil and international war in 1971. The dissertation analyzes the emergence and development of the minority question in Europe and connects it with Colonial India, where it culminated into Partition of British India and emergence of Pakistan in 1947. The dissertation analyzes post- Colonial minoritization of Pakistani Hindus as a gradual process on three different but interconnected levels: 1. the loss of Hindu life from Pakistan, 2. the transference of Hindu property and 3. the political minoritization of Pakistani Hindus. The dissertation does so by approaching the history of Pakistani Hindus in two distinct geographical locations, Sindh and the ex-Pakistani province of East Bengal. It also includes discussion on Pakistani Scheduled Castes and Tribes. The dissertation is based on indepth, detailed fieldwork in Tharparkar district of Sindh province and archival research in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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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

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.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014