between sundays - Adam Lawrence Anthropology of Religion...

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Adam Lawrence Anthropology of Religion Critic of “Between Sundays” Postmodern Aesthetic ruins a good ethnography Marla Frederick’s Between Sundays positions itself as a seminal ethnography within the field of Southern African American Female Spirituality . The text is rich with descriptions of how spirituality guides theses women’s everyday activities . Frederick makes an important distinction between religion and spirituality; according to her spirituality is the daily manifestations of your faith, religion is the structural manifestations of a higher power . Religion is the ecclesiastical; the church, the scripture, the preacher—essentially all the rituals associated with church . Spirituality is the daily actions that your faith influences as well as the deep interaction and relationship you might have between your soul and your faith . Frederick attempts to be an impartial observer of this earthly spirituality; unfortunately she has a difficult time remaining an independent observer of the Southern Spirituality . While she manages to document how spirituality demonstrates itself she leaves out the important question of why it manifests itself within these people . The text is rife with historical observations and explanations attempting to buoy the need and importance of faith . While the issue of accommodation is glossed over within the introduction, the topic of why and underlying reasons for this spirituality are rarely addressed . Between Sundays takes place within the rural south . Traditionally this part if the country has the highest religiosity . This implies that this part of the country has the highest percentage of believers and
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practitioners of faith . According to the Review of Religious Research , “It is hardly a revelation to note that those who live in rural areas display a greater religiosity then their urban counterparts . ” (Chalfant and Heller). The article cites a variety of sources . The fact that Frederick’s interviewees have a high level of spirituality is to be expected from this geographic and demographic subset . In addition to the rural location having the most religiosity, the south leads the nation when looked at from a geographical perspective . More people in the south believe the bible is the literal truth then in any other part of the country . When we think about the systemic natural of Southern spirituality in the context of its place within culture and life it is hard not to question why . Frederick does not focus on this why factor and instead focuses on the it factor—the spirituality is here so let’s study it . It is impossible to fully understand or comprehend their spirituality without finding out why some members of our society embrace this religiosity . Furthermore Frederick portrays the text as an “auto-ethnography” (Frederick 23) a sort of ethnography intertwined with her personal discovery and relationship with her own spirituality . While it is important to note the relevance and scholarly importance of Post-modernism it tends to make
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This note was uploaded on 05/29/2008 for the course ANTH 120 taught by Professor Phinney during the Winter '07 term at Seattle University.

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between sundays - Adam Lawrence Anthropology of Religion...

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