A Coat of Many Colors: Religion and Society along the Cape by Walter H. Conser Jr.

By Walter H. Conser Jr.

While non secular range is frequently thought of a up to date phenomenon in the USA, the Cape worry sector of southeastern North Carolina has been a various neighborhood because the sector was once first settled. Early on, the sector and the port urban of Wilmington have been extra city than the remainder of the kingdom and therefore supplied individuals with possibilities seldom present in different components of North Carolina. This region drew citizens from many ethnic backgrounds, and the lads and girls who settled there turned an essential component of the region's tradition. Set opposed to the backdrop of nationwide and southern non secular adventure, A Coat of many colours examines problems with non secular range and nearby id within the Cape worry zone. writer Walter H. Conser Jr. attracts on a vast variety of resources, together with congregational documents, sermon texts, liturgy, newspaper bills, relations memoirs, and technological advancements to discover the evolution of non secular existence during this zone. starting with the tale of prehistoric local americans and carrying on with via an exam of existence on the finish of 20th century, Conser tracks the advance of some of the religions, denominations, and ethnic teams that decision the Cape worry area domestic. From early local American traditions to the institution of the 1st church buildings, cathedrals, synagogues, mosques, and temples, A Coat of many colours deals a finished view of the spiritual and ethnic variety that experience characterised Cape worry all through its background. during the lens of local historical past, Conser explores how this area's wealthy spiritual and racial variety may be obvious as a microcosm for the South, and he examines the ways that faith can have an effect on such varied facets of lifestyles as structure and race relations.

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Extra info for A Coat of Many Colors: Religion and Society along the Cape Fear River of North Carolina

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So too, the inclusion of grave goods or red ocher in the burial site intimated some conception of the continuation of life after death. 39 The third type of ritual concerned purification and communion. One example of a purification ritual involved the ingestion of a beverage made from the leaves of the yaupon plant, which grew abundantly in the Cape Fear area and was widely used by its native population. Native groups from the Piedmont and other inland areas made annual pilgrimages down the Cape Fear River in the spring to trade for supplies of the highly coveted yaupon leaves, and such trade could be lucrative for the Cape Fear Indians.

In any case, the development of such agricultural subsistence strategies supported larger villages and more sedentary, less nomadic lifestyles. 49 Hilton and his men had other encounters with the native peoples. In one case, an Indian shot an arrow at Hilton and a detachment of his crew. After pursing their assailant and destroying his hut and possessions, Hilton was approached by a delegation of forty native men who sought to restore peace. ” In all probability, these expressions were derived from the word bueno and indicated contact with the Spanish, who had been in what is now South Carolina since the 1520s.

41 The striving for purity and the desire to avoid pollution are familiar dynamics in the history of religions and have been cogently applied to the native peoples of the Southeast. Charles Hudson, for example, pointed out the “almost obsessive concern with purity The Cape Fear and Its Indians 27 and pollution” among the preliterate peoples of the Southeast, for whom achieving and maintaining purity, eliminating pollution, and restoring purity were important ceremonial purposes. To maintain purity and avoid pollution was to live in balance; it was to exist in a state of harmony with the members of the social and natural world of which one was a part.

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