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Kerala Christian sainthood : collisions of culture and worldview in South India

Author: Corinne G Dempsey
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Kerala Christian Sainthood is an ethnography-based study that celebrates the multi-vocal function of saints. Drawing on pilgrim anecdotes, shrine practices, official hagiographies, and regional lore, author Corinne Dempsey demonstrates how the business of saints routinely extends beyond their capacity as earthly conduits of miraculous power. Saintly characters described in this book, hailing from the religiously  Read more...
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Named Person: Alphonsa, Saint; Alphonsa, Saint
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Corinne G Dempsey
ISBN: 0195130286 9780195130287
OCLC Number: 41173513
Description: xiii, 213 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction : Kerala, God's own country --
Me, St. George, and other foreigners --
Siblings and other metaphors for Christian-Hindu relations --
Calamity management and the role of sacred ambivalence --
The life and cult of Sr. Alphonsa : A celebration of complexity and paradox.
Responsibility: Corinne G. Dempsey.
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Abstract:

In this fieldwork-based study, Corinne Dempsey examines the ways in which Kerala Christians construct "hybrid" (Western and Eastern) identity in a postcolonial world. She focuses on their devotion to  Read more...

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....Is a fascinating study of the beliefs and practices surrounding sainthood among Syrian Christians. * The Journal of Religion *

 
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    schema:reviewBody ""Kerala Christian Sainthood is an ethnography-based study that celebrates the multi-vocal function of saints. Drawing on pilgrim anecdotes, shrine practices, official hagiographies, and regional lore, author Corinne Dempsey demonstrates how the business of saints routinely extends beyond their capacity as earthly conduits of miraculous power. Saintly characters described in this book, hailing from the religiously pluralistic south Indian state of Kerala, tend not only to the health and happiness of individual devotees but help craft and express the multiple identities and complex power relations of their devotional communities as well." "Throughout the study, Dempsey highlights the traditions of Sr. Alphonsa of Bharananganam (1910-1946) and St. George the martyr, two figures who reflect the many preoccupations of Kerala sainthood. Sr. Alphonsa, native of Kerala and famous for her life of suffering and posthumous power, stands in line to be canonized by the Vatican. St. George, the caped dragon slayer imported to Kerala by Syrian merchants and later by Portuguese and British colonizers, is today partially debunked by Rome. These two figures, while differing dramatically in temperament, nationality, age of cult, and Vatican standing, boast a vast popular appeal in Kerala's Kottayam district. In examining Sr. Alphonsa and St. George, Dempsey shows how Kerala's saint traditions reflect devotees' hybrid identities in both colonial and postcolonial times." "This ethnography of Christian sainthood within a Hindu cultural context, of "foreign" traditions adopted by native practice, and of female sanctity negotiated through patriarchal expectation is poised at a number of intersections. Dempsey provides not only a comparative study of cultures, religions, and worldviews, but also a unique grounding for contemporary ethnographic, post-colonial, and feminist concerns."--Jacket." ;
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