Death, the Maiden, and Dreams of Revival

Adam H. Becker

in Revival and Awakening

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2015 | ISBN: 9780226145280
Published online September 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780226145457 | DOI:
Death, the Maiden, and Dreams of Revival

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This chapter looks at how the American mission introduced new ideas of death and mourning, while rejecting the indigenous culture’s understanding of the possible relationships that could exist between the dead and the living. For the Americans the dead could only serve as moral examples and nothing more. This critique of the East Syrian culture of the dead fit with the missionaries’ prioritization of the self as isolated and solitary and the interiorization of religion. The chapter ends with a description of the various revivals experienced almost yearly at the mission from 1846 into the 1860s. These were ritual events that responded in part to the gospel of dread the Americans preached and that reveal the social anxieties existing within the mission community due to the contradictory, even impossible demands made by the Americans. These same demands contributed to the emergence of a racialized Syrian national identity.

Keywords: revival; conversion; death; mourning; national identity

Chapter.  19703 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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