Bandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints investigates cultural icons of the late nineteenth century from Mexico’s largely unstudied northwest borderlands, present-day Sonora, Baja California, and western Chihuahua. Robert McKee Irwin looks at popular figures such as Joaquín Murrieta, the gold rush social bandit; Lola Casanova, the anti-Malinche, whose marriage to a Seri Indian symbolized a forbidden form of mestizaje; and la Santa de Cabora, a young faith healer who inspired armed insurgencies and was exiled to Arizona.
Cultural icons such as Murrieta, Lola Casanova, and la Santa de Cabora are products of intercultural dialogue, Irwin reveals, and their characterizations are unstable. They remain relevant for generations because there is no consensus regarding their meanings, and they are weapons in struggles of representation in the borderlands. The figures studied here are especially malleable, he argues, because they are marginalized from the mainstream of historiography.
A timely analysis, Bandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints challenges current paradigms of border studies and presents a rich understanding of the ways in which cultural icons influence people’s minds and lives.
Robert McKee Irwin is associate professor of Spanish at the University of California, Davis, and the author of Mexican Masculinities (Minnesota, 2003).
Following the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the cult of the saints was the dominant form of religion in Christian Europe. In this elegantly written work, Peter Brown explores the role of tombs, shrines, relics, and pilgrimages connected with the sacred bodies of the saints. He shows how men and women living in harsh and sometimes barbaric times relied upon the merciful intercession of the holy dead to obtain justice, forgiveness, and to find new ways to accept their fellows. Challenging the common treatment of the cult as an outbreak of superstition among the lower classes, Brown demonstrates how this form of religiousity engaged the finest minds of the Church and elicited from members of the educated upper classes some of their most splendid achievements in poetry, literature, and the patronage of the arts.
"Brown has an international reputation for his fine style, a style he here turns on to illuminate the cult of the saints. Christianity was born without such a cult; it took rise and that rise needs chronicling. Brown has a gift for the memorable phrase and sees what the passersby have often overlooked. An eye-opener on an important but neglected phase of Western development."—The Christian Century
"Brilliantly original and highly sophisticated . . . . [The Cult of the Saints] is based on great learning in several disciplines, and the story is told with an exceptional appreciation for the broad social context. Students of many aspects of medieval culture, especially popular religion, will want to consult this work."—Bennett D. Hill, Library Journal
In this groundbreaking work, Peter Brown explores how the worship of saints and their corporeal remains became central to religious life in Western Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. During this period, earthly remnants served as a heavenly connection, and their veneration is a fascinating window into the cultural mood of a region in transition.
Brown challenges the long-held “two-tier” idea of religion that separated the religious practices of the sophisticated elites from those of the superstitious masses, instead arguing that the cult of the saints crossed boundaries and played a dynamic part in both the Christian faith and the larger world of late antiquity. He shows how men and women living in harsh and sometimes barbaric times relied upon the holy dead to obtain justice, forgiveness, and power, and how a single sainted hair could inspire great thinkers and great artists.
An essential text by one of the foremost scholars of European history, this expanded edition includes a new preface from Brown, which presents new ideas based on subsequent scholarship.
Equipping The Saints
Barbara Elliott Templeton Press, 2004 Library of Congress HV530.E55 2004 | Dewey Decimal 361.75
For any individual donor or foundation giving money to a faith-based organization, this guide is indispensable. Equipping the Saints offers sage advice on recognizing the qualities of good leaders, effective programs, and the methods of evaluating outcomes. Based on hundreds of interviews with donors and civic leaders, this guide provides a candid look at the unique strengths and weaknesses of these groups. Equipping the Saints is packed with useful tools like a donor's interest inventory, a checklist for making a site visit, tips on reading nonprofit financial statements, and hands-on recommendations for making grants that are both effective and prudent.
"An excellent guide for philanthropists seeking to unleash the power of faith in healing troubled souls and transforming troubled neighborhoods." —Adam Meyerson, president, Philanthropy Roundtable
"Most donors quickly learn how all that glitters is not gold. Some go on to learn how all that is gold does not glitter. In this book Barbara Elliott provides the lessons in discernment and the tools for evaluation that donors need. Take advantage of her understanding by making it your own." —Marvin Olasky, ditor of World magazine, author of Compassionate Conservatism and The Tragedy of American Compassion
"Any donor with even a hint of interest in exploring investments in the work of faith-based organizations (FBOs) needs this book. It is packed with practical information about how to understand and assess FBOs. Its numerous examples of real-life donors making real-life differences through partnerships with faith-inspired community healers ought to stimulate much creative brainstorming among philanthropists." —Dr. Amy L. Sherman, senior fellow and director, Faith in Communities Initiative of the Foundation for American Renewal
"From the perspective of a local foundation giving to faith-based ministries, we have found Barbara Elliott's work to be inspiring, practical and instructive to us as we think through our priorities and principles for funding decisions…I have extraordinary respect for Barbara's scope of understanding, ability to communicate with passion and reason, and her deep understanding of a very complex field. She gives all of us—ministries and funders—genuine hope and invaluable insight." —Fred Smith, president, The Gathering
Most of us are content to see ourselves as ordinary people—unique in ways, talented in others, but still among the ranks of ordinary mortals. Andrew Flescher probes our contented state by asking important questions: How should "ordinary" people respond when others need our help, whether the situation is a crisis, or something less? Do we have a responsibility, an obligation, to go that extra mile, to act above and beyond the call of duty? Or should we leave the braver responses to those who are somehow different than we are: better somehow, "heroes," or "saints?"
Traditional approaches to ethics have suggested there is a sharp distinction between ordinary people and those called heroes and saints; between duties and acts of supererogation (going beyond the expected). Flescher seeks to undo these standard dichotomies by looking at the lives and actions of certain historical figures—Holocaust rescuers, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, among others—who appear to be extraordinary but were, in fact, ordinary people. Heroes, Saints, and Ordinary Morality shifts the way we regard ourselves in relationship to those we admire from afar—it asks us not only to admire, but to emulate as well—further, it challenges us to actively seek the acquisition of virtue as seen in the lives of heroes and saints, to learn from them, a dynamic aspect of ethical behavior that goes beyond the mere avoidance of wrongdoing.
Andrew Flescher sets a stage where we need to think and act, calling us to lead lives of self-examination—even if that should sometimes provoke discomfort. He asks that we strive to emulate those we admire and therefore allow ourselves to grow morally, and spiritually. It is then that the individual develops a deeper altruistic sense of self—a state that allows us to respond as the heroes of our own lives, and therefore in the lives of others, when times and circumstance demand that of us.
When the Ottoman Empire met its demise in the early twentieth century, the new Republic of Turkey closed down the Sufi orders, rationalizing that they were antimodern. Yet the nascent nation, faced with defining its cultural heritage, soon began to promote the legacies of three Sufi saints: Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, Hacı Bektaş Veli, and Yunus Emre. Their Turkish ethnicity, along with universalist themes found in their poetry and legends—of love, peace, fellowship, and tolerance—became the focus of their commemoration. With this reinterpretation of their characters—part of a broader secularist project—these saints came to be considered the great Turkish humanists. Their veneration came to play an important role in the nationalist formulation of Turkish culture, but the universalism of their humanism has exposed fissures in society over the place of religion in the nation.
Humanist Mystics is the first book to examine Islam and secularism within Turkish nationalist ideology through the lens of commemorated saints. Soileau surveys Anatolian and Turkish religious and political history as the context for his closer attention to the lives and influence of these three Sufi saints. By comparing premodern hagiographic and scholarly representations with twentieth-century monographs, literary works, artistic media, and commemorative ceremonies, he shows how the saints have been transformed into humanist mystics and how this change has led to debates about their character and relevance.
Although ecstasy has been explored in several Indian contexts, surprisingly little scholarship has been devoted to its central role in Bengali devotion. In The Madness of the Saints, June McDaniel undertakes the first comprehensive study of religious ecstasy in Bengal, examining the texts that describe it, the people who experience it, and the traditions that support it.
Celebrities and popular icons are increasingly ubiquitous figures of a 21st century postmodern world. Some, in death, blur age-old distinctions of sanctification and trespass on sacred ground long held exclusively by religious saints. An emerging continuum is transforming that sacred arena and raising a number of important issues, including the nature of the relationships between the worshipped and the worshipful and the types of institutions that sustain them.
The Making of Saints: Contesting Sacred Ground investigates a number of religious leaders, healers, folk saints, and popular icons in seeking to identify their commonalities and discover how they speak to the same inner yearnings of human beings for gods and heroes. Issues of social relations, love, emotion, charisma, power, and sanctification are addressed by the contributors. Analyses of hagiographies, biographies, media, control of space, pilgrimage, and acts of devotion provide the bases for the authors' explorations of these issues. Among the sanctified included for analysis are the folk saints El Nino Fidencio and Teresa Urrea; the charismatic rabbis Baba Sali, Baba Baruch, and Ifargan; King Chulalongkorn of Thailand; two political figures, Evita Peron and Che Guevara; and three celebrities: James Dean, Elvis Presley, and Japanese rock star HIDE.
The contributors challenge notions of what is sacred and who may be sanctified, and argue that a broadening of views is needed to accommodate and appreciate emerging contemporary realities.
In 1985 the Pelourinho neighborhood in Salvador, Brazil was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over the next decades, over 4,000 residents who failed to meet the state's definition of "proper Afro-Brazilianness" were expelled to make way for hotels, boutiques, NGOs, and other attractions. In Revolt of the Saints, John F. Collins explores the contested removal of the inhabitants of Brazil’s first capital and best-known site for Afro-Brazilian history, arguing that the neighborhood’s most recent reconstruction, begun in 1992 and supposedly intended to celebrate the Pelourinho's working-class citizens and their culture, revolves around gendered and racialized forms of making Brazil modern. He situates this focus on national origins and the commodification of residents' most intimate practices within a longer history of government and elite attempts to "improve" the citizenry’s racial stock even as these efforts take new form today. In this novel analysis of the overlaps of race, space, and history, Collins thus draws on state-citizen negotiations of everyday life to detail how residents’ responses to the attempt to market Afro-Brazilian culture and reimagine the nation’s foundations both illuminate and contribute to recent shifts in Brazil’s racial politics.
Revised and updated edition of the perennial Georgetown University Press classic, Saints of the Liturgical Year, this beautiful and comfortably sized guide is compact, but brimming with information. This edition includes over 260 brief biographies, including 33 new entries, as well as a glossary of terms to help explain the theology of the Roman Catholic Church. Based on the General Roman Calendar, presently in use in the Roman Catholic Church, it also includes the feasts, Saints, and Blesseds from the Liturgical Calendar of the Society of Jesus—known as the Jesuits—as officially observed within the Society of Jesus.
Offering inspiration and encouragement, Saints and Feasts of the Liturgical Year functions as an aid in introducing the faithful to the day's feast or to the saint whose memorial is being celebrated. As a gift, for personal or group study, and helpful for introducing parishioners to the history of the church, this book can also be used as a source of ideas for all pastors.
"In this exciting and important work, Wyschogrod attempts to read contemporary ethical theory against the vast unwieldy tapestry that is postmodernism. . . . [A] provocative and timely study."—Michael Gareffa, Theological Studies
"A 'must' for readers interested in the borderlands between philosophy, hagiography, and ethics."—Mark I. Wallace, Religious Studies Review
In Saints and Society, Donald Weinstein and Rudolph M. Bell examine the lives of 864 saints who lived between 1000 and 1700 and the perceptions of sanctity prevalent in late medieval and early modern Europe. They also provide a substantial body of information on the people among whom the saints lived and by whom they came to be venerated. In the first part, the authors give close consideration to what the saints' lives reveal about childhood, adolescence, and adulthood; the impact of religious inspiration upon family bonds; and family influences upon religious behavior. The second part provides a composite picture of piety and its changing configuration in Latin Christendom. With the assistance of statistical analysis, the authors answer questions involving the popular perception of holiness, social class, and gender.
Saints: Faith without Borders
Edited by Françoise Meltzer and Jas Elsner University of Chicago Press, 2011 Library of Congress BX2325.S25 2011 | Dewey Decimal 282.0922
While the modern world has largely dismissed the figure of the saint as a throwback, we remain fascinated by excess, marginality, transgression, and porous subjectivity—categories that define the saint. In this collection, Françoise Meltzer and Jas Elsner bring together top scholars from across the humanities to reconsider our denial of saintliness and examine how modernity returns to the lure of saintly grace, energy, and charisma.
Addressing such problems as how saints are made, the use of saints by political and secular orders, and how holiness is personified, Saints takes us on a photo tour of Graceland and the cult of Elvis and explores the changing political takes on Joan of Arc in France. It shows us the self-fashioning of culture through the reevaluation of saints in late-antique Judaism and Counter-Reformation Rome, and it questions the political intent of underlying claims to spiritual attainment of a Muslim sheikh in Morocco and of Sephardism in Israel. Populated with the likes of Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, and Padre Pio, this book is a fascinating inquiry into the status of saints in the modern world.
A reshaping of traditional understandings of Costa Rica and its national identity
The Saints of Progress: A History of Coffee, Migration, and Costa Rican National Identity chronicles the development of the Tarrazú Valley, a historically remote—although internationally celebrated—coffee-growing region. Carmen Kordick’s work traces the development of this region from the early nineteenth century to the first decades of the twenty-first century to consider the nation-building process from the margins, while also questioning traditional scholarly works that have reproduced, rather than deconstructed, Costa Rica’s exceptionalist national mythology, which hail Costa Rica as Central America’s “white,” democratic, nonviolent, and egalitarian republic.
In this compelling political, economic, and lived history, Kordick suggests that Costa Rica’s exceptionalist and egalitarian mythology emerged during the Cold War, as revolution, civil war, military dictatorship, and state violence plagued much of Central America. From the vantage point of Costa Rica’s premier coffee-producing region, she examines local, national, and transnational processes. This deeply textured narrative details the inauguration of coffee capitalism, which heightened existing class divisions; a successful armed revolt against the national government, which forged the current political regime; and the onset of massive out-migration to the United States.
Kordick’s research incorporates more than one hundred oral histories and thousands of archival sources gathered in both Costa Rica and the United States to produce a human history of Costa Rica’s past. Her work on the recent past profiles the experiences of migrants in the United States, mostly in New Jersey, where many undocumented Costa Ricans find low-paid work in the restaurant and landscaping sectors. The result is a fine-grained examination of Tarrazú’s development from the 1820s to the present that reshapes traditional understandings of Costa Rica and its national past.
Master storyteller Don Waters returns to the desert in his third book set in the American Southwest. With the gothic sensibility of Flannery O’Connor and emotional delicacy of Raymond Carver, these nine contemporary stories deftly explore the lives of characters losing or clinging to a fleeting faith and struggling to find something meaningful to believe in beneath overpowering desert skies.
Soldiers, seekers, priests, prisoners, and surfers pursue their fate amid bizarre, sometimes overwhelming circumstances. In “La Luz de Jesús,” a gutless Los Angeles screenwriter, a believer in nothing but the god of Hollywood, must reorient after he encounters a group of penitents in New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The decorated soldier in “Española” faces more chaos back home than he did during his tour in Iraq. And “The Saints of Rattlesnake Mountain” pairs a “trustee” prison inmate and a wild mustang horse, both wards of the state of Nevada, as they fumble toward a spiritual truth.
These stories capture the spirit of a region and its people. Once again Waters assembles an unconventional cast of characters, capturing their foibles and imperfections, and always rendering them with compassion as these modern-day martyrs and spiritually haunted survivors strive for some kind of redemption.
Ingenious, sometimes forbidding, often absurd, and altogether original, The Saints of Rattlesnake Mountain is a stirring tribute to the lives, loves, and hopes of the faithful and the dispossessed.
. . . we move to the town of Aconchi on the Río Sonora, where the mission church once contained a life-sized crucifix with a black corpus, known both as Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas . . . and El Cristo Negro de Aconchi . . .
So describes well-known and beloved folklorist James S. Griffith as he takes us back through the decades to a town in northern Sonora where a statue is saved—and in so doing, a community is saved as well.
In Saints, Statues, and Stories Griffith shares stories of nearly sixty years of traveling through Sonora. As we have come to expect through these journeys, “Big Jim”—as he is affectionately known by many—offers nothing less than the living traditions of Catholic communities. Themes of saints as agents of protection or community action are common throughout Sonora: a saint coming out of the church to protect the village, a statue having a say in where it resides and paying social calls to other communities, or a beloved image rescued from destruction and then revered on a private altar. A patron saint saves a village from outside attackers in one story—a story that has at least ten parallels in Sonora’s former mission communities. Details may vary, but the general narrative remains the same: when hostile nonbelievers attack the village, the patron saint of the church foils them.
Griffith uncovers the meanings behind the devotional uses of religious art from a variety of perspectives—from artist to audience, preservationist to community member. The religious artworks transcend art objects, Griffith believes, and function as ways of communicating between this world and the next. Setting the stage with a brief geography, Griffith introduces us to roadside shrines, artists, fiestas, saints, and miracles. Full-color images add to the pleasure of this delightful journey through the churches and towns of Sonora.
Tears and Saints
E. M. Cioran University of Chicago Press, 1995 Library of Congress B105.S79C5613 1995 | Dewey Decimal 235.2
By the mid-1930s, Emil Cioran was already known as a leader of a new generation of politically committed Romanian intellectuals. Researching another, more radical book, Cioran was spending hours in a library poring over the lives of saints. As a modern hagiographer, Cioran "dreamt" himself "the chronicler of these saints' falls between heaven and earth, the intimate knower of the ardors in their hearts, the historian of God's insomniacs." Inspired by Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, Cioran "searched for the origin of tears." He asked himself if saints could be "the sources of tears' better light."
"Who can tell?" he wrote in the first paragraph of this book, first published in Romania in 1937. "To be sure, tears are their trace. Tears did not enter the world through the saints; but without them we would never have known that we cry because we long for a lost paradise." By following in their traces, "wetting the soles of one's feet in their tears," Cioran hoped to understand how a human being can renounce being human. Written in Cioran's characteristic aphoristic style, this flamboyant, bold, and provocative book is one of his most important—and revelatory—works.
Cioran focuses not on martyrs or heroes but on the mystics—primarily female—famous for their keening spirituality and intimate knowledge of God. Their Christianity was anti-theological, anti-institutional, and based solely on intuition and sentiment. Many, such as Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Saint John of the Cross, have produced classic works of mystical literature; but Cioran celebrates many more minor and unusual figures as well.
Following Nietzsche, he focuses explicitly on the political element hidden in saints' lives. In his hands, however, their charitable deeds are much less interesting than their thirst for pain and their equally powerful capacity to endure it. Behind their suffering and their uncanny ability to renounce everything through ascetic practices, Cioran detects a fanatical will to power.
"Like Nietzsche, Cioran is an important religious thinker. His book intertwines God and music with passion and tears. . . . [Tears and Saints] has a chillingly contemporary ring that makes this translation important here and now."—Booklist
As war, pestilence, and famine spread through Europe in the Middle Ages, so did reports of miracles, of hopeless victims wondrously saved from disaster. These "rescue miracles," recorded by over one hundred fourteenth-century cults, are the basis of Michael Goodich's account of the miraculous in everyday medieval life.
Rescue miracles offer a wide range of voices rarely heard in medieval history, from women and children to peasants and urban artisans. They tell of salvation not just from the ravages of nature and war, but from the vagaries of a violent society—crime, unfair judicial practices, domestic squabbles, and communal or factional conflict. The stories speak to a collapse of confidence in decaying institutions, from the law to the market to feudal authority. Particularly, the miraculous escapes documented during the Hundred Years' War, the Italian communal wars, and other conflicts are vivid testimony to the end of aristocratic warfare and the growing victimization of noncombatants.
Miracles, Goodich finds, represent the transcendent and unifying force of faith in a time of widespread distress and the hopeless conditions endured by the common people of the Middle Ages. Just as the lives of the saints, once dismissed as church propaganda, have become valuable to historians, so have rescue miracles, as evidence of an underlying medieval mentalite. This work expands our knowledge of that state of mind and the grim conditions that colored and shaped it.
A governor who saw ghosts, an incorrigible horse thief, a husband and wife who each stood over seven feet tall, an American Indian chief who defied forced removal, and the first woman to practice law before the Supreme Court: these are just some of the remarkable characters whose lives influenced and defined the state of Wisconsin. Authors Michael Edmonds and Samantha Snyder plumbed the depths of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s collections to research and compose lively portraits of eighty of these notable individuals: mayors, ministers, mystics, murderers, and everything in between. Each story is followed by recommended sources for readers’ continued exploration. Whether read on the fly or all in one sitting, these short, colorful narratives will intrigue and inform as you delve into Wisconsin’s diverse and diverting history.