University of New Mexico Press

Religions of the Americas Series

Series Editors: Davíd Carrasco and Charles H. Long

Published by: University of New Mexico Press

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Religions of the Americas Series

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Louis Riel and the Creation of Modern Canada

Mythic Discourse and the Postcolonial State

Jennifer Reid

Reid examines Riel's religious background, the mythic significance that has consciously been ascribed to him, and how these elements combined to influence Canada's search for a national identity. Reid's study provides a framework for rethinking the geopolitical significance of the modern Canadian state, the historic role of Confederation in establishing the country's collective self-image, and the narrative space through which Riel's voice speaks to these issues.

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Marvels and Miracles in Late Colonial Mexico

Three Texts in Context

William B. Taylor

Consisting of three rare documents about miracles during the second half of the eighteenth century, each accompanied by an introductory essay, this study explores these divine signs and the move to change the role of the church and religion in colonial life.

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Sacred Spaces and Religious Traditions in Oriente Cuba

Jualynne E. Dodson

The investigation of Dodson and the African Atlantic Research team offers an interconnected examination of the history and embedded understandings of four religions while simultaneously offering a panoramic view of religious development in Cuba and practitioners' struggle for a self-defined, Africa-based nature for their religious activities on the island.

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Shrines and Miraculous Images

Religious Life in Mexico Before the Reforma

William B. Taylor

William Taylor explores the use of local and regional shrines, and devotion to images of Christ and Mary, including Our Lady of Guadalupe, to get to the heart of the politics and practices of faith in Mexico before the Reforma. Each of these essays touches on methodological and conceptual matters that open out to processes and paradoxes of change and continuity, exposing the symbolic complexity behind the material representations.

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Strange Jeremiahs

Civil Religion and the Literary Imaginations of Jonathan Edwards, Herman Melville, and W. E. B. Du Bois

Carole Lynn Stewart

Over the last few decades the notion of civil religion has gained parlance as a way of making sense of American culture and religion. The term civil religion, often used simply to mean patriotism, refers in this text to the religious styles and rhetoric that emerge from the act of founding of the American Republic as a democratic nation. The author examines the work of three major American authors whose lives span 250 years and who, in spite of their different heritages, all expressed themselves through the tradition of the jeremiad, or prophetic judgment of a people for backsliding from their destiny. Jonathan Edwards, the eighteenth-century theologian whose work defined the Great Awakening, made use of the jeremiad through a theological discourse that defined conversion as a performative act. Stewart demonstrates how Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick, questioned the ideology of American optimism; her focus here falls upon his lesser known and often overlooked novel, Pierre, or the Ambiguities. W. E. B. Du Bois, the preeminent African American intellectual and activist took up the jeremiad from the implications of the Reconstruction.

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Yoruba Traditions and African American Religious Nationalism

Tracey E. Hucks; Foreword by Charles H. Long

Exploring the Yoruba tradition in the United States, Hucks begins with the story of Nana Oseijeman Adefunmi’s personal search for identity and meaning as a young man in Detroit in the 1930s and 1940s. She traces his development as an artist, religious leader, and founder of several African-influenced religio-cultural projects in Harlem and later in the South. Adefunmi was part of a generation of young migrants attracted to the bohemian lifestyle of New York City and the black nationalist fervor of Harlem. Cofounding Shango Temple in 1959, Yoruba Temple in 1960, and Oyotunji African Village in 1970, Adefunmi and other African Americans in that period renamed themselves “Yorubas” and engaged in the task of transforming Cuban Santería into a new religious expression that satisfied their racial and nationalist leanings and eventually helped to place African Americans on a global religious schema alongside other Yoruba practitioners in Africa and the diaspora.

Alongside the story of Adefunmi, Hucks weaves historical and sociological analyses of the relationship between black cultural nationalism and reinterpretations of the meaning of Africa from within the African American community.

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