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The Ancient Spirituality of the Modern Maya [NOOK Book]

Overview

Since the arrival of the Europeans, the indigenous people of what is now Guatemala have endured massacres, persecution, and discrimination. Their religious beliefs and practices have been condemned as superstition and witchcraft. Yet the spiritual worldview of the Maya has survived and even flourishes, five centuries after the invaders' first attempts to destroy it.

In The Ancient Spirituality of the Modern Maya, Thomas Hart weaves together the stories and experiences of those ...

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The Ancient Spirituality of the Modern Maya

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Overview

Since the arrival of the Europeans, the indigenous people of what is now Guatemala have endured massacres, persecution, and discrimination. Their religious beliefs and practices have been condemned as superstition and witchcraft. Yet the spiritual worldview of the Maya has survived and even flourishes, five centuries after the invaders' first attempts to destroy it.

In The Ancient Spirituality of the Modern Maya, Thomas Hart weaves together the stories and experiences of those who practice Maya spirituality today, based on the relationship between God, the World, and the Ancestors, and provides a sense of the Mayan worldview as it is revealed through myth, ceremony, and teaching. The information provided by Hart adds a modern perspective to this largely oral traditional culture and provides a unique insight into its practice today, with its many variations and with the adaptability that has sustained it for over five hundred years.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826343529
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Series: no
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Thomas Hart has lived in Guatemala since 1993. He currently works on indigenous health projects with a British development organization based in Quetzaltenango.

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Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xv
Introduction     1
All God's Children: The Coming of Christianity     9
Adoring the World: The Mayan Vision of God     27
Sacred Time: The Mayan Calendar     39
Presents for the World: Mayan Ceremonies     51
Sacred Places: Shrines and Altars     73
You Need the Driver: The Mayan Priesthood     89
Putting a Question: Divination     107
The Owners of Sickness: Illness and Curing     119
Here Is Our Mother: Corn and the Maya     131
Enchanted Hills: Spirits of the Earth     141
Stones of the World: Ancient Relics     163
A Different Person, a Different God: Maximon and the Saints     175
Sometimes the Dream Is True: Revelations in Dreams     193
They Give Signs: Animal Portents     199
"We say there's no Heaven and there's no Hell": Death and After     205
Coming Out of the Shadows: Mayan Spirituality in the Modern World     219
Afterword     227
Notes     231
Glossary     251
Bibliography     254
Notes on Contributors     261
Index     267

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    More fascinating information on Maya culture

    The modern Maya are known to respect their cultural traditions. THOMAS HART gives examples of this respect, by way of Maya spirituality. Modern Maya may worship in the Catholic Church, or one of the Evangelical churches. But many still hold dear beliefs and practices from the pre-Christian religion of their ancestors. For example, Mondays are for cemetery visits, or memories, in honor of the dead. This is a pre-Christian practice straight out of ancient Maya culture. As another example, many Maya accept predestination, assign unchanging character traits at birth, and attribute souls and speech to stones and trees. Once again, these are pre-Christian beliefs straight out of ancient Maya culture. One of the reasons THE ANCIENT SPIRITUALITY OF THE MODERN MAYA is so readable is that the author regularly brings in what his Maya interviewees had to say. More academic and research-minded readers will also appreciate the extensive, helpful bibliography, glossary, footnotes and index.

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