Joseph LaycockThe Seer of Bayside: Veronica Lueken and the Struggle to Define Catholicism

Oxford University Press, 2014

by Kristian Petersen on January 19, 2015

Joseph Laycock

View on Amazon

In understanding a tradition what is the relationship between the ‘center’ and the ‘periphery’? How do the lived religious lives of practitioners contest or affirm authority? In The Seer of Bayside: Veronica Lueken and the Struggle to Define Catholicism (Oxford University Press, 2014), Joseph Laycock, assistant professor of religious studies at Texas State University, explores the implicit power of definitional boundaries through a study of a community that is simultaneously insider and outsider. The book is an introduction to Veronica Lueken, who had apparitions of the Virgin Mary, Jesus, and other Catholic saints, and a history of the movement that developed around her, the Baysiders. Laycock framed this unfolding history within the movement’s evolving relationship with Church authorities. The narrative presents Lueken’s early visions, the community of followers that rose up around here, and the continued conflict they received from the Church, their neighbors, and each other. The case is useful for understanding the creation of meaning through the contestation of tradition and questions of what gets to count as orthodox. In our conversation we discussed the Second Vatican Council, UFOs, technologies of power, the Pope, imagined communities, ethnography, New Religious Movements, abnormal Polaroid pictures, conspiracy theories, and the construction of sacred space.

{ 0 comments }

Isra YaziciogluUnderstanding Qur’anic Miracle Stories in the Modern Age

January 23, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] In Understanding Qur’anic Miracle Stories in the Modern Age (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2013), Isra Yazicioglu draws connections between an array of scholars, from different time periods and cultures, in order to make sense of miracles and miracle stories in the Qur’an. What are miracles? Why do they occur in stories? And how [...]

Read the full article →

Carol E. HarrisonRomantic Catholics: France’s Postrevolutionary Generation in Search of a Modern Faith

January 23, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Christian Studies] Since the political left and right first arose during the French Revolution, Catholics have been categorized as either conservatives or liberals, and most Catholics of the French nineteenth century are assumed to have been conservatives. In Romantic Catholics: France’s Postrevolutionary Generation in Search of a Modern Faith (Cornell University Press, 2014), Carol E. [...]

Read the full article →

Steven ShaviroThe Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism

January 16, 2015

[Cross-posted from the New Books Network Seminar] Steven Shaviro’s new book is a wonderfully engaging study of speculative realism, new materialism, and the ways in which those fields can speak to and be informed by the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. While The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) will satisfy even advanced scholars [...]

Read the full article →

Erik BraunThe Birth of Insight: Meditation, Modern Buddhism, and the Burmese Monk Ledi Sayadaw

January 9, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Buddhist Studies] Erik Braun’s recent book, The Birth of Insight: Meditation, Modern Buddhism, and the Burmese Monk Ledi Sayadaw (University of Chicago Press, 2013), examines the spread of Burmese Buddhist meditation practices during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the social, political, and intellectual historical contexts that gave rise to this development.  Braun [...]

Read the full article →

Gene Luen YangBoxers & Saints

January 8, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Christian Studies] I love picking up a historical monograph in which the footnotes count for a quarter or more of the total pages. Most students don’t share this strange love of mine. I’m therefore always trying to figure out ways to bring in other sorts of works that will engage students [...]

Read the full article →

Matt TomlinsonRitual Textuality: Pattern and Motion in Performance

January 6, 2015

Religious ritual has been a staple of anthropological study. In his latest monograph, Ritual Textuality: Pattern and Motion in Performance (Oxford University Press 2014), cultural anthropologist Matt Tomlinson takes up the topic anew through a set of four case studies drawn from his fieldwork in Fiji. Each one illustrates a component of what Tomlinson calls [...]

Read the full article →

Jacob DaltonThe Taming of the Demons: Violence and Liberation in Tibetan Buddhism

December 25, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Buddhist Studies] Jacob Dalton’s recent book, The Taming of the Demons: Violence and Liberation in Tibetan Buddhism (Yale University Press, 2011), examines violence (both symbolic and otherwise) in Tibetan Buddhism.  Dalton focuses in particular on the age of fragmentation (here 842–986 CE), and draws on previously unexamined Dunhuang manuscripts to show that this period [...]

Read the full article →

James Mace WardPriest, Politician, Collaborator: Jozef Tiso and the Making of Fascist Slovakia

December 25, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Eastern European Studies] In his biography of Jozef Tiso, Catholic priest and president of independent Slovakia (1939-1944), James Ward provides a deeper understanding of a man who has been both honored and vilified since his execution as a Nazi collaborator in 1947. Priest, Politician, Collaborator: Jozef Tiso and the Making of Fascist Slovakia (Cornell University Press, [...]

Read the full article →

Kavita DatlaThe Language of Secular Islam: Urdu Nationalism and Colonial India

December 24, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] In her brilliant new book, The Language of Secular Islam: Urdu Nationalism and Colonial India (University of Hawaii Press, 2013), Kavita Datla, Associate Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College, explores the interaction of language, nationalism, and secularism by focusing on the religious and social imaginaries of important twentieth century Muslim scholars from [...]

Read the full article →