Abstract

The digital revolution has provided easy access to photographic archives, enabling students and scholars to utilize new forms of visual evidence. Analyzing the 80,000 pictures contained in the online archive of Pittsburgh photojournalist Teenie Harris (1908–98) reveals that African Americans utilized Catholic devotional arts in both their homes and churches. Most likely these individuals were not Catholic but found that Catholic imagery spoke to their spiritual needs for an embodied Christianity that was powerful enough to heal, bring luck, and ward off evil. Photographic archives constitute valuable historical sources that can provide important insights into how religion is lived.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 80-98
Launched on MUSE
2015-03-01
Open Access
No
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