Posts Tagged ‘Scripture’

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.

Walker Peterson, “A Non-Place Identity and a Fixed (Sacred) Text”

December 19, 2012

Walker Peterson, Heather.  2012.  A Non-Place Identity and a Fixed (Sacred) Text: Literacy Practices Shaping Identity/ies of a Slavic Baptist Congregation from the Former Soviet Union to the United States.  Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 12(3): 450–465.

Abstract: Based on an interdisciplinary linguistic ethnography, I apply the term ‘non-place’ to the collective identity of a Slavic migrant congregation in the United States. Those members socialised into their faith before migration had already been marginalised in their resistance to the former national Soviet identity. The New Literacy Studies in particular help to describe their historic Protestant literacy practices regarding a sacred, and thus fixed, text. A fixed sacred text provided the freedom to interpret the group’s context, a perceived narrative to join, and authority for leadership to dictate a way of life. Events around text were warm and welcoming, utilising Western texts for legitimatised scripture interpretation, and accessible to both Russian speakers and second-generation English speakers. With the assumed permanence of a sacred text, new believers retold their own narratives as part of the scriptural one, and had a ‘home land’ they had never stepped foot in.

Stadler, “Between Scripture and Performance”

November 1, 2011

Stadler, Nurit (2011) “Between scripture and performance: cohesion and dissent at the Feast of Mary’s Dormition in Jerusalem,” Religion [advance copy – volume, issue, & page to be announced later]

Abstract: In contrast to popular Marian rites throughout the world, the Jerusalem Dormition Feast is held on a canonical route that includes the purported sites of some of the key moments in the Virgin’s life. The festival boasts an ancient liturgical order consisting of utterances and customs that are assiduously preserved by Jerusalem’s Greek-Orthodox Church. Drawing on Engelke’s distinction (2007) between scriptural authority and religious performance and numerous scholarly analyses of cohesion and dissent at assorted Marian shrines (e.g., Eade and Sallnow [1991]), this article explores the reactions to the local ceremonial on the part of various participants. While the clergy strives to impose its particular reading of the Scriptures on all the attendees, the different lay groups insist on performing rituals that give expression to their own knowledge of the canon and their own understanding of the Virgin’s nature. All told, their reactions range from rigid obedience to creative practices and heated dissent. The event ultimately splinters off into several factions and the host’s orderly script is compromised.

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