Anglophilia charts the phenomenon of the love of Britain that emerged after the Revolution and remains in the character of U.S. society and class, the style of academic life, and the idea of American intellectualism. But as Tamarkin shows, this Anglophilia was more than just an elite nostalgia; it was popular devotion that made reverence for British tradition instrumental to the psychological innovations of democracy. Anglophilia spoke to fantasies of cultural belonging, polite sociability, and, finally, deference itself as an affective practice within egalitarian politics.
Tamarkin traces the wide-ranging effects of anglophilia on American literature, art and intellectual life in the early nineteenth century, as well as its influence in arguments against slavery, in the politics of Union, and in the dialectics of liberty and loyalty before the civil war. By working beyond narratives of British influence, Tamarkin highlights a more intricate culture of American response, one that included Whig elites, college students, radical democrats, urban immigrants, and African Americans. Ultimately, Anglophila argues that that the love of Britain was not simply a fetish or form of shame-a release from the burdens of American culture-but an anachronistic structure of attachement in which U.S. Identity was lived in other languages of national expression.
Animals in Religion explores the role of animals within a wide range of religious traditions. Exploring countless stories and myths passed down orally and in many religious texts, Barbara Allen—herself a practicing minister—offers a fascinating history of the ways animals have figured in our spiritual lives, whether they have been Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or any number of lesser-known religions.
Some of the figures here will be familiar, such as St. Francis of Assisi, famous for his accord with animals, or that beloved remover of obstacles, Ganesha, the popular elephant god in the Hindu pantheon. Delving deeper, Allen highlights the numerous ways that our religious practices have honored and relied upon our animal brethren. She examines the principle of ahimsa, or nonviolence, which has Jains sweeping the pathways before them so as not to kill any insects, as well as the similar principle in Judaism of ts’ar ba’alei chayim and the notion in some sects of Islam that all living creatures are Muslim. From ancient Egypt to the Druids to the indigenous cultures of North America and Australia, Allen tells story after story that emphasizes the same message: all species are spiritually connected.
During the 1830s, the small state of Rhode Island flourished as a center of radical abolitionism. Inspired by William Lloyd Garrison's call for immediate emancipation, some twenty-five anti-slavery societies were formed under the leadership of the African American communities in Providence and Newport, several energetic Baptist and Congregational clergymen, and the wealthy elder statesman of the New England Friends, Moses Brown.
Despite the efforts of these groups, by 1842 the antislavery movement in Rhode Island was nearly moribund, the unified hopes of earlier years having fallen victim to political wrangling. A year later the largest auxiliary in the state, the Providence Antislavery Society, turned its funds over to Amarancy Paine, who in concert with other women not only revived the abolitionist movement in the state but kept it running for another ten years.
This detailed study explores how and why women like Paine emerged from the background to resuscitate and lead the antislavery cause in Rhode Island. It suggests that women more than men were accustomed to working behind the scenes, informally and without much public recognition.
The crumbling of the male-centered organization revealed a previously invisible female-based structure of personal ties on which leaders were able to build the Rhode Island State Anti-Slavery Society. Because these informal ties crossed traditional racial, geographic, and gender-role boundaries, they were often tenuous and fragile. Nevertheless, by developing this network among themselves and then extending it to national leaders, a few dedicated women managed to continue a program of antislavery petitioning, meetings, and literature circulation.
Three religious scholars delve into the potential of literature as a site of radical transformation.
We are living in a time of radical uncertainty, faced with serious political, ecological, economic, epidemiological, and social problems. What brings scholars of religion Constance M. Furey, Sarah Hammerschlag, and Amy Hollywood together in this volume is a shared conviction that “reading helps us live with and through the unknown,” including times like these. They argue that what we read and what reading itself demands of us open new ways of imagining our political futures and our lives.
Each chapter in this book suggests different ways to characterize the object of devotion and the stance of the devout subject before it. Furey writes about devotion in terms of vivification, energy, and artifice; Hammerschlag in terms of commentary, mimicry, and fetishism; and Hollywood in terms of anarchy, antinomianism, and atopia. They are interested in literature not as providing models for ethical, political, or religious life, but as creating the site in which the possible—and the impossible—transport the reader, enabling new forms of thought, habits of mind, and ways of life. Ranging from German theologian Martin Luther to French-Jewish philosopher Sarah Kofman to American poet Susan Howe, this volume is not just a reflection on forms of devotion and their critical and creative import, but is also a powerful enactment of devotion itself.
In Devotion to the Adopted Country, Tyler V. Johnson looks at the efforts of America’s Democratic Party and Catholic leadership to use the service of immigrant volunteers in the U.S.–Mexican War as a weapon against nativism and anti-Catholicism. Each chapter focuses on one of the five major events or issues that arose during the war, finishing with how the Catholic and immigrant community remembered the war during the nativist resurgence of the 1850s and in the outbreak of the Civil War. Johnson’s book uncovers a new social aspect to military history by connecting the war to the larger social, political, and religious threads of antebellum history.
Having grown used to the repeated attacks of nativists upon the fidelity and competency of the German and Irish immigrants flooding into the United States, Democratic and Catholic newspapers vigorously defended the adopted citizens they valued as constituents and congregants. These efforts frequently consisted of arguments extolling the American virtues of the recent arrivals, pointing to their hard work, love of liberty, and willingness to sacrifice for their adopted country.
However, immigrants sometimes undermined this portrayal by prioritizing their ethnic and/or religious identities over their identities as new U.S. citizens. Even opportunities seemingly tailor-made for the defenders of Catholicism and the nation’s adopted citizens could go awry. When the supposedly well-disciplined Irish volunteers from Savannah brawled with soldiers from another Georgia company on a Rio Grande steamboat, the fight threatened to confirm the worst stereotypes of the nation’s new Irish citizens. In addition, although the Jesuits John McElroy and Anthony Rey gained admirers in the army and in the rest of the country for their untiring care for wounded and sick soldiers in northern Mexico, anti-Catholic activists denounced them for taking advantage of vulnerable young men to win converts for the Church.
Using the letters and personal papers of soldiers, the diaries and correspondence of Fathers McElroy and Rey, Catholic and Democratic newspapers, and military records, Johnson illuminates the lives and actions of Catholic and immigrant volunteers and the debates over their participation in the war. Shedding light on this understudied and misunderstood facet of the war with Mexico, Devotion to the Adopted Country adds to the scholarship on immigration and religion in antebellum America, illustrating the contentious and controversial process by which immigrants and their supporters tried to carve out a place in U.S. society.
Hasidism has attracted, repelled, and bewildered philosophers, historians, and theologians since its inception in the eighteenth century. In Hasidism: Writings on Devotion, Community, and Life in the Modern World, Ariel Evan Mayse and Sam Berrin Shonkoff present students and scholars with a vibrant and polyphonic set of Hasidic confrontations with the modern world. In this collection, they show that the modern Hasid marks not only another example of a Jewish pietist, but someone who is committed to an ethos of seeking wisdom, joy, and intimacy with the divine.
While this volume focuses on Hasidism, it wrestles with a core set of questions that permeate modern Jewish thought and religious thought more generally: What is the relationship between God and the world? What is the relationship between God and the human being? But Hasidic thought is cast with mystical, psychological, and even magical accents, and offers radically different answers to core issues of modern concern. The editors draw selections from an array of genres including women’s supplications; sermons and homilies; personal diaries and memoirs; correspondence; stories; polemics; legal codes; and rabbinic response. These selections consciously move between everyday lived experience and the most ineffable mystical secrets, reflecting the multidimensional nature of this unusual religious and social movement. The editors include canonical texts from the first generation of Hasidic leaders up through present-day ultra-orthodox, as well as neo-Hasidic voices and, in so doing, demonstrate the unfolding of a rich and complex phenomenon that continues to evolve today.
India's folklore and classical literature abound with stories of parents who sacrifice their children. In The Hungry God, David Shulman examines one set of such tales—Hindu texts that bear similarities to the biblical aqedah, the account of Abraham's near-sacrifice of Isaac. In all the stories that Shulman explores, the sacrifice proceeds from a divine command and has no utilitarian explanation or rationale.
Icon and Devotion offers the first extensive presentation in English of the making and meaning of Russian icons. The craft of icon-making is set into the context of forms of worship that emerged in the Russian Orthodox Church in the mid-seventeenth century. Oleg Tarasov shows how icons have held a special place in Russian consciousness because they represented idealized images of Holy Russia. He also looks closely at how and why icons were made. Wonder-working saints and the leaders of such religious schisms as the Old Believers appear in these pages, which are illustrated with miniature paintings, lithographs and engravings never before published in the English-speaking world.
By tracing the artistic vocabulary, techniques and working methods of icon painters, Tarasov shows how icons have been integral to the history of Russian art, influenced by folk and mainstream currents alike. As well as articulating the specifically Russian piety they invoke, he analyzes the significance of icons in the cultural life of modern Russia in the context of popular prints and poster design.
Yusuf and Zulaykha. Khusrau and Shirin. Layla and Majnun. For hundreds of years, Persian poets have captivated audiences with recitations and reinterpretations of timeless tales of earthly and spiritual love. These tales were treasured not only in Iran, but also across the neighboring Mughal and Ottoman Empires.
In Love and Devotion, leading specialists in literature, art history, and philosophy reveal new perspectives on these evocative stories and the exquisite illustrated manuscripts that convey them. Particularly in courtly settings, poetry was a key component of Persian cultural life from the fourteenth through the eighteenth century, and elite patrons commissioned copies of lyrical poems and epics told in verse. Beautifully presented here in full-page reproductions are more than one hundred folios from these illustrated manuscripts, representing masterful works from Hafiz, Rumi, and many others. Echoes of works by Persian poets are manifest across European literature from Dante and Shakespeare to the present, and this lavishly illustrated book reveals new perspectives on the universal theme of love.
Just as twenty-first-century technologies like blogs and wikis have transformed the once private act of reading into a public enterprise, devotional reading experiences in the Middle Ages were dependent upon an oscillation between the solitary and the communal. In Reading in the Wilderness, Jessica Brantley uses tools from both literary criticism and art history to illuminate Additional MS 37049, an illustrated Carthusian miscellany housed in the British Library. This revealing artifact, Brantley argues, closes the gap between group spectatorship and private study in late medieval England.
Drawing on the work of W. J. T. Mitchell, Michael Camille, and others working at the image-text crossroads, Reading in the Wilderness addresses the manuscript’s texts and illustrations to examine connections between reading and performance within the solitary monk’s cell and also outside. Brantley reimagines the medieval codex as a site where the meanings of images and words are performed, both publicly and privately, in the act of reading.
From its origins in the mid-seventeenth century visions of the French nun Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647–90) to its continuing employment in worship today, the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been controversial. Vigorously promoted by Jesuit spiritual directors, embroiled in the controversies of Jansenist writers, closely associated with Royalist political causes in France, and taken around the world by Sister Sophie Barat in the nineteenth century, the Devotion’s practices took on the shape of its evolving visual culture and iconography. This volume traces the unfolding visual biography of the sacred heart and shows how imagery documents the Devotion’s remarkable evolution.
In this interdisciplinary study of drama, arts, and spirituality, Gail Gibson provides a provocative reappraisal of fifteenth-century English theater through a detailed portrait of the flourishing cultures of Suffolk and Norfolk. By emphasizing the importance of the Incarnation of Christ as a model and justification for late medieval drama and art, Gibson challenges currently held views of the secularization of late medieval culture.
According to public health orthodoxy, blood for transfusion is safer when derived from voluntary, nonremunerated donors. As developing nations phase out compensated blood collection efforts to comply with this current policy, many struggle to keep their blood stores up.
Veins of Devotion details recent collaborations between guru-led devotional movements and public health campaigns to encourage voluntary blood donation in northern India. Focusing primarily on Delhi, Jacob Copeman carefully situates the practice within the context of religious gift-giving, sacrifice, caste, kinship, and nationalism. The book analyzes the operations of several high-profile religious orders that organize large-scale public blood-giving events and argues that blood donation has become a site not only of frenetic competition between different devotional movements, but also of intense spiritual creativity.
Despite tensions between blood banks and these religious groups, their collaboration is a remarkable success storyùthe nation's blood supply is replenished while blood donors discover new devotional possibilities.