Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Reid, “Finding Kluskap”

August 19, 2013

Reid, Jennifer. 2013. Finding Kluskap: A Journey into Mi’kmaw Myth. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.

Publisher’s Description: The Mi’kmaq of eastern Canada were among the first indigenous North Americans to encounter colonial Europeans. As early as the mid-sixteenth century, they were trading with French fishers, and by the mid-seventeenth century, large numbers of Mi’kmaq had converted to Catholicism. Mi’kmaw Catholicism is perhaps best exemplified by the community’s regard for the figure of Saint Anne, the grandmother of Jesus. Every year for a week, coinciding with the saint’s feast day of July 26, Mi’kmaw peoples from communities throughout Quebec and eastern Canada gather on the small island of Potlotek, off the coast of Nova Scotia. It is, however, far from a conventional Catholic celebration. In fact, it expresses a complex relationship between the Mi’kmaq, Saint Anne, a series of eighteenth-century treaties, and a cultural hero named Kluskap.

Finding Kluskap brings together years of historical research and learning among Mi’kmaw peoples on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The author’s long-term relationship with Mi’kmaw friends and colleagues provides a unique vantage point for scholarship, one shaped by not only personal relationships but also by the cultural, intellectual, and historical situations that inform postcolonial peoples. The picture that emerges when Saint Anne, Kluskap, and the mission are considered in concert with one another is one of the sacred life as a site of adjudication for both the meaning and efficacy of religion—and the impact of modern history on contemporary indigenous religion.

King, “The New Heretics”

January 4, 2013

King, Rebekka. 2012. The New Heretics: Popular Theology, Progressive Christianity, and Protestant Language Ideologies. Doctoral Dissertation, Dept. for the Study of Religion. Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto.

Abstract: This dissertation investigates the development of progressive Christianity. It explores the ways in which progressive Christian churches in Canada adopt biblical criticism and popular theology. Contributing to the anthropology of Christianity, this study is primarily an ethnographic and linguistic analysis that juxtaposes contemporary conflicts over notions of the Christian self into the intersecting contexts of public discourse, contending notions of the secular and congregational dynamics. Methodologically, it is based upon two-and-a-half years of in-depth participant observation research at five churches and distinguishes itself as the first scholarly study of progressive Christianity in North America. I begin this study by outlining the historical context of skepticism in Canadian Protestantism and arguing that skepticism and doubt serve as profoundly religious experiences, which provide a fuller framework than secularization in understanding the experiences of Canadian Protestants in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In doing so, I draw parallels between the ways that historical and contemporary North American Christians negotiate the tensions between their faith and biblical criticism, scientific empiricism and liberal morality. Chapter Two seeks to describe the religious, cultural and socio-economic worlds inhabited by the progressive Christians featured in this study. It focuses on the worldviews that emerge out of participation in what are primarily white, middle-class, liberal communities and considers how these identity-markers affect the development and lived experiences of progressive Christians. My next three chapters explore the ways that certain engagements with text and the performance or ritualization of language enable the development of a distinctly progressive Christian modality. Chapter Three investigates progressive Christian textual ideologies and argues that the form of biblical criticism that they employ, along with entrenched concerns about the origins of the Christian faith ultimately, leads to a rejection of the biblical narrative. Chapter Four examines the ways in which progressive Christians understand individual ‘deconversion’ narratives as contributing to a shared experience or way of being Christian that purposefully departs from evangelical Christianity. The final chapter analyses rhetoric of the future and argues that progressive Christians employ eschatological language that directs progressive Christians towards an ultimate dissolution.

Althouse and Wilkinson “The Many Faces of Canadian Pentecostalism”

October 18, 2011

Peter Althouse  & Michael Wilkinson (2011) “The Many Faces of Canadian Pentecostalism” Canadian Journal of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity 2(1):i-iv.

First Paragraph: “The myth of Azusa Street is one that asserts that people from all over the world, of different races, ethnicities, genders, languages, cultures and classes came together in unity in the outpouring of the Spirit where everyone has a voice in glossolalic utterance. Myth is a powerful cultural symbol for affording Pentecostals a sense of place and equality in religious and social contexts, but a myth none- theless; not because the multicultural context of the early days of Pentecost was untrue—the historical records show that Azusa Street was multiracial and multiethnic with William Seymour, the son of emancipated African- American slaves taking a prominent role in the revival’s leadership and evidence of Latino/a inclusion in the re- vival; but myth because the ideal of equality and racial reconciliation quickly collapsed in the early history of Pentecostalism. Despite the diverse cultural representation of Azusa, where marginalized voices could be heard and allowed to participate in the revival, Pentecostal institu- tions quickly accommodated to the dominate culture, seg- regated blacks and whites, assert a patriarchal power structure that denied women ministerial status, marginal- ized the voices of other ethnicities and cultural groups, and placed white Anglo-Saxon males in authority.”

 

 

Klassen, “Spirits of Protestantism”

October 5, 2011

Klassen, Pamela (2011)  Spirits of Protestantism: Medicine, Healing, and Liberal Christianity Berkeley: University of Berkeley Press

Publisher’s Description: Spirits of Protestantism reveals how liberal Protestants went from being early-twentieth-century medical missionaries seeking to convert others through science and scripture, to becoming vocal critics of missionary arrogance who experimented with non-western healing modes such as Yoga and Reiki. Drawing on archival and ethnographic sources, Pamela E. Klassen shows how and why the very notion of healing within North America has been infused with a Protestant “supernatural liberalism.” In the course of coming to their changing vision of healing, liberal Protestants became pioneers three times over: in the struggle against the cultural and medical pathologizing of homosexuality; in the critique of Christian missionary triumphalism; and in the diffusion of an ever-more ubiquitous anthropology of “body, mind, and spirit.” At a time when the political and anthropological significance of Christianity is being hotly debated, Spirits of Protestantismforcefully argues for a reconsideration of the historical legacies and cultural effects of liberal Protestantism, even for the anthropology of religion itself.

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