Marten/Neumann: Saints and Cultural Trans-/Mission

October 28th, 2013

Michael Marten, Katja Neumann, Saints and Cultural Trans-/Mission

series: Collectanea Instituti Anthropos, vol. 45

Sankt Augustin: Academia/Anthropos, 2013

ISBN: 978-3-89665-621-6

The various essays offered in this collection, each with their own unique and critical focus, enable a comparative glimpse into key problems that anthropological study is confronted with when engaging with the ‘cultural-religious matrix’ spun around the discourse on saints. This happens by reflecting on the significance of the material form of the medium ‘saint’ in the person, narrative, depiction, or ritual that provides the basis for interpretation, thereby inviting academic, artistic, and personal reflections on Western cultural perceptions and interactions with the saint’s mediary situation.

Although this ‘material form’ is interpreted partly in literary, artistic, and at times even entirely fictional form, its materiality effects and affects links beyond its representation to those connected in some way to the saint, whether as devotees, promulgators, artists, or deconstructionists.

Key questions arise when addressing such issues, for example: who or what finds transmission in media and rituals surrounding instances of saint-depictions, worship, and invocation? Can discourses on saints offer something more, something broader than theological debates? Is it possible and useful to seek to identify commonalities and differences in interpreting the place of saints in societies across historical, cultural, and geographical boundaries? What motivates the construction or deconstruction of sainthood?

Brian Murdoch – The Dwindling Saint: From Hagiography to Folktale
Christine B. Lindner – “Hechli Barbara!”: Identity and the Celebration of Saint Barbara in North Lebanon
Emilia Ferraro – Saint John the Baptist in Northern Ecuador, or the Ritual Making and Fostering of Ethnic Identity
Michael Marten – “The Loneliest Woman in Africa” – Missionary Biography as a Form of Scottish Protestant Sainthood
Jason Hartford – Forgotten Plurality – A Cultural Analysis of Representations of St. Sebastian in the West
Lindy Richardson – Whose Bones Are They Anyway?
Jean Andrews – St Joseph as Loving Father in Seventeenth-Century Hispanic Devotional Painting – Josefa de Óbidos and Diego Quispe Tito
Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar Sáenz – Pachamama and the Virgin Revisited – Coincidences and Convergences

Submission: Michael Marten (Editor), 28.10.13

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