Ancestors in Post-Contact Religion: Roots, Ruptures, and Modernity's Memory

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This volume addresses two facets common to our human experience. We are all descendants; we all have ancestors who make powerful claims on our lives. And we live in the aftermath of contact between European-based cultures and other civilizations. It is now clear that native religions are alive and adapting in the contemporary world, just as all religions have done in all eras.

The phenomenon of ancestors is common to all humans, but while prominent in most indigenous traditions, it has been suppressed in western cultures. This volume articulates crucial issues in the study of post-contact religion through the themes of the ancestral ordering of the world, intense personal attachments to forebears, and the catastrophes of colonization.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780945454328
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Series: Religions of the World Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven J. Friesen is Louise Farmer Boyer Chair in Biblical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

John A. Grim is Senior Lecturer, Yale Divinity School.

Mary N. MacDonald is Professor of History of Religions, Le Moyne College.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Modern Ancestors
The Living Living and the Living Dead: A Source of Harmony in the Melanesian Worldview 3
The Cult of Saints and Souls in New Orleans 17
The Hawaiian 'Aumakua: Ancestors as Gods 29
To Praise and to Reprimand: Ancestors and Spirituality in African Society and Culture 4911
Defeating Death and Promoting Life: Ancestors among the Enga, Huli, and Kewa of Papua New Guinea 7311
Into the Mist 9711
Voyages of Maori Ancestors from Hawaiki: Two Ngati Porou Traditions 10511
Enlightenment, Ancestors, and Primordiality: A Note on Modernity and Memory 12511
Encounters with Korean Ancestors: Rituals, Dreams, and Stories 13511
Rhythms from the Past Beating into the Future 15711
Aloha 'Aina: Love of the Land in Hawai'i 16911
Living the Dreaming: Aboriginal Ancestors Past and Present 17711
Honoring the Ancestral Bones: The Grave Protection and Repatriation Act and the Algonquian Feast of the Dead 19711
Spiritual Relations, Bodily Realities: Ancestors in the European Catholic Tradition 21911
Disconnection and Reconnection 23901
Works Cited 25301
List of Conference Participants 26301
Index 265
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