Evidently this is official "podcast" week in my life. In the post below Art mentions his podcast with me for the Journal of Southern Religion. Then, at Books and Culture, editors John Wilson and Stan Guthrie were very kind to record a podcast, about 5 minutes, in which they discuss our new volume The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History, co-edited by myself and Edward J. Blum. You can listen to the podcast here, click on the link at the top of the page (or go directly to it here). Thanks to John and Stan for their work on these podcasts and this kind one in particular.
The podcast mentions several of the essays in the book, but let me point out three others not specifically mentioned there, all of which really invigorate the volume:
Ira Chernus, "Religion, War, and Peace," maybe the most provocative essay in the book.
Anthony Petro, "Religion, Gender, and Sexuality," an outstanding piece on an exploding field of study.
Linford Fisher, "Colonial Encounters," a gem of an essay which should make all of you want to read Lin's soon-to-forthcome book The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Natives Cultures in Early America (Oxford, 2012).
We blogged previously, too, about the interviews that Ed has conducted with Lin over at the Teaching U.S. History blog, Part I here and Part II here. Here's a little excerpt below from Part II of the interview, where Lin discusses a point developed much further in the book, the connection between religion, consumer goods, and Native practices in colonial New England:
In terms of religion, one of the biggest ways we can trace the effects of this influx of consumer goods is through funerary objects in Native graves. One of the most poignant examples of this comes from a late seventeenth century grave at Mashantucket, Connecticut. In a young teenage girl’s grave, amongst the more traditional funerary items such as a pestle and beads archaeologists in 1990 found a medicine bundle that contained fragments of a Bible page and a bear paw. I wrestle with the meaning of this a bit in the introduction to my book, but it seems to me it is a clear example of how the physical presence of the Bible and the teachings contained in it had become part of funerary practices and—perhaps equally as important—one additional potential means for providing in the afterlife or a deceased relative. But even more broadly, the educational and evangelistic efforts made by the colonists in Native communities meant that in churches and schools Natives were presented with an astonishing array of new material goods, such as all kinds of books and primers, inks and quills, eyeglasses (for reading), benches and tables, and European clothing and foods.