Kinship and Pilgrimage
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Kinship and Pilgrimage : Rituals of Reunion in American Protestant Culture

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The twin concepts of kinship and pilgrimage have deep roots in Protestant culture. This cultural anthropological study, based in part on the author's own fieldwork, argues that in Reformed Protestantism, the Catholic custom of making pilgrimages to sacred spots has been replaced by the custom of "reunion," in which scattered members of a family or group return each year to their place of origin to take part in a quasi-sacred ritual meal and other ritual activities. Neville discusses open air services and kin-based gatherings in the Southern United States and Scotland as examples of symbolic forms that express certain themes in Northern European Protestant culture, contrasting these forms with the symbolic social statements in the Roman Catholic liturgical world of medieval Europe and traditional Mediterranean Catholicism. According to Neville, Protestant rituals of reunion such as family reunion, church homecoming, cemetery association day, camp meeting, and denomination conference center are part of an institutionalized pilgrimage complex that comments on Protestant culture and belief while presenting a symbolic inversion of the pilgrimage and the culture of Roman Catholic tradition.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 127 x 210.8 x 15.2mm | 249.48g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195300335
  • 9780195300338

Review quote

"A valuable study that will interest a wide range of advanced readers, including anthropologists, sociologists, theologians, historians, and students of contemporary American life."-Choice "An original and sympathetic study."-Times Literary Supplement "A fresh and well documented example of what anthropology can bring to the study of American religious ritual forms."-Journal of Ritual Studies "Most enjoyable and instructive. The central thesis is bold, simple, and telling-that the reformation broke ritually with Catholicism in replacing the pilgrimage with the reunion."-James Peacock, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill "Convincing and informative....A highly recommended, authentic guide to a deeper understanding of the transmission of values in the Protestant South."-Clarence D. Weaver, The Austen Presbyterian Theological Seminary "Offers profound ethnographic reflection on such rituals as church homecomings, family reunions, and camp meetings....A fine ethnography, this well-argued book should be welcomed not only by cultural anthropologists, but also by those historian and sociologists who make it their work to understand American Protestantism."-Religious Studies Reviewshow more

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