Carnival and other Christian festivals

Carnival and other Christian festivals

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qDr. Harris has preempted a field almost unto himself: the study of contemporary festivals that have their origins in tradition, history, and the great religious celebrations of the past.... [This book] represents a masterful achievement.q a€”Milla Cozart Riggio, James J. Goodwin Professor of English, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut With a riotous mix of saints and devils, street theater and dancing, and music and fireworks, Christian festivals are some of the most lively and colorful spectacles that occur in Spain and its former European and American possessions. That these folk celebrations, with roots reaching back to medieval times, remain vibrant in the high-tech culture of the twenty-first century strongly suggests that they also provide an indispensable vehicle for expressing hopes, fears, and desires that people can articulate in no other way. In this book, Max Harris explores and develops principles for understanding the folk theology underlying patronal saints' day festivals, feasts of Corpus Christi, and Carnivals through a series of vivid, first-hand accounts of these festivities throughout Spain and in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, Trinidad, Bolivia, and Belgium. Paying close attention to the signs encoded in folk performances, he finds in these festivals a folk theology of social justice thata€”however obscured by official rhetoric, by distracting theories of archaic origin, or by the performers' own need to mask their resistance to authoritya€”is often in articulate and complex dialogue with the power structures that surround it. This discovery sheds important new light on the meanings of religious festivals celebrated from Belgium to Peru and on the sophisticated theatrical performances they embody.... Christi in Cusco resembles its haughty peninsular cousin in Toledo more than it does its exuberant kin in Berga and Camunas. ... Early on Thursday morning, the interior of the cathedral being under repair, an outdoor altar was placed at the top of the steps overlooking the spacious Plaza de Armas. ... Behind the altar were dozens of empty seats, filled at Saint Sebastian and the Blue-eyed Blacks ( peru)

Title:Carnival and other Christian festivals
Author: Max Harris
Publisher:Univ of Texas Pr - 2003-12-01

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