Heather Miyano KopelsonApr 4, 2016
Performing Religion and Race in the Puritan Atlantic
NYU Press 2014
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.