Beheading The Saint: Nationalism, Religion, And Secularism In Quebec

Hardcover | December 13, 2016

byGeneviève Zubrzycki

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Through much of its existence, Québec’s neighbors called it the “priest-ridden province.” Today, however, Québec society is staunchly secular, with a modern welfare state built on lay provision of social services—a transformation rooted in the “Quiet Revolution” of the 1960s.
            In Beheading the Saint, Geneviève Zubrzycki studies that transformation through a close investigation of the annual Feast of St. John the Baptist of June 24. The celebrations of that national holiday, she shows, provided a venue for a public contesting of the dominant ethno-Catholic conception of French Canadian identity and, via the violent rejection of Catholic symbols, the articulation of a new, secular Québécois identity. From there, Zubrzycki extends her analysis to the present, looking at the role of Québécois identity in recent debates over immigration, the place of religious symbols in the public sphere, and the politics of cultural heritage—issues that also offer insight on similar debates elsewhere in the world.

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Through much of its existence, Québec’s neighbors called it the “priest-ridden province.” Today, however, Québec society is staunchly secular, with a modern welfare state built on lay provision of social services—a transformation rooted in the “Quiet Revolution” of the 1960s.             In Beheading the Saint, Geneviève Zubrzycki stud...

Geneviève Zubrzycki is associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan. She is the author of The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

other books by Geneviève Zubrzycki

Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:December 13, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022639154X

ISBN - 13:9780226391540

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
1 From French Canada to Québec: An Introduction
Key Trope: Anticolonialism and Language
Part One Making and Unmaking of French-Canadianness
2 The Iconic Making of French Canadianness
Key Trope: The Family
3 Iconoclastic Unmaking: The Quiet Revolution’s Aesthetic Revolt (1959–69)
Key Trope: The Soil
Part Two Making and Debating Québécois-ness
4 Iconographic Remaking and the Politics of Identity: The Ambiguous Reinvention of the Fête
Key Trope: The Sheep
5 Nationalism, Secularism, and Cultural Heritage
Key Trope: The Flag
6 Conclusion: Toward a Cultural Sociology of Identity Transformation
Appendix A Historical Cues
Appendix B Parade Themes
Appendix C Methods and Sources
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“In Beheading the Saint, Zubrzycki offers a fascinating analysis of how French Canadians became Québécois at the speed of light. She also provides a much-needed non-reductivist analysis of the unfolding of chains of signification that transform collective identity. This book will be of great interest to an interdisciplinary audience aiming to understand the changing relationship between secularism and nationalism at the level of narratives and experiences.”