Kinship and Pilgrimage: Rituals of Reunion in American Protestant Culture

Paperback | April 30, 2005

byGwen Kennedy Neville

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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own fieldwork, argues that in Reformed Protestantism, the Catholic custom of making pilgrimages to sacred spots has been replaced by the customof "reunion," in which scattered members of a family or group return each year to their place of origin to take part in a quasi-sacred ritual meal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 ofsymbolic 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 reunionsuch 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 RomanCatholic tradition.

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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own fieldwork, argues that in Reformed Protestantism, the Catholic custom of making pilgrimages to sacred spots has been replaced by the customof "reunion," in which scattered members of...

Gwen Kennedy Neville is at Southwestern University (Emeritus).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 9.45 × 6.1 × 0.98 inPublished:April 30, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195300335

ISBN - 13:9780195300338

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"A valuable study that will interest a wide range of advanced readers, including anthropologists, sociologists, theologians, historians, and students of contemporary American life."--Choice