Chapter

<i>Catholic Miscegenations: The Cultural Legacy of</i> Les Cenelles

Thomas F. Haddox

in Fears and Fascinations

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780823225217
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236947 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225217.003.0002
Catholic Miscegenations: The Cultural Legacy of Les Cenelles

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The identification of the church with people of mixed race that finds expression in Les Cenelles would come to pervade southern culture so thoroughly that it would long survive the demise of mixed-race individuals as a legally distinct case. Catholic imagery and belief pervade the eighty-five poems of Les Cenelles. References to God, heaven, and the Catholic clergy recur in a decorous, self-consciously pious language equally removed from the highly emotional rhetoric of much southern Protestantism and from the syncretic ambience of voudun. When William Faulkner portrayed Charles Bon in Absalom, Absalom!, a man of indeterminate race, a participant in placage, and a lapsed Catholic, he highlighted anew the complex set of associations that had developed between Catholicism and racial mixing in the South.

Keywords: Catholic Church; Les Cenelles; God; heaven; clergy; Protestantism; Charles Bon; Catholicism; miscegenation; mixed race

Chapter.  14198 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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