Heather Miyano Kopelson
Performing Religion and Race in the Puritan Atlantic
NYU Press 2014
New Books in AnthropologyNew Books in Caribbean StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Native American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in ReligionNew Books Network April 3, 2016 Dan Livesay
Heather Miyano Kopelson explores how religion, primarily expressed through bodily action, contributed to colonial notions of difference in her recent book Faithful Bodies: Performing Religion and Race in the Puritan Atlantic (NYU Press, 2014). She examines the religious rituals of TaÃno, Algonquian, and West African peoples in the New World, and how they intersected with Puritan theology and expression. By comparing these interactions in both New England and Bermuda, she demonstrates how divergent attitudes toward race could be, even among like-minded colonists. Her book demonstrates the centrality of religious attitudes in Puritans’ changing conceptions of colonized bodies, and therefore how racial ideologies developed in two radically different imperial outposts.