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Creating a Patron Saint of Renegades

Creating a Patron Saint of Renegades By Rosemary Lee I. INTRODUCTION Choosing a mission site, mastering vernaculars, and acquiring influential patrons were all crucial items on the missionary's to-do list. Choosing and promoting holy advocates were equally important steps for any mission. Though they would likely not have described it in the same way, missionaries recognized that evangelization was a process of creating new identities and cultures for their converts. One of the most effective ways to do so was through the promotion of saints, who served as reservoirs of cultural memory for Christians both old and new, in Europe and the overseas missions. 1 Missionaries relied on saints not only to act as intercessors for their converts, but also to intercede for themselves. Through their relics and vitae, saints provided an equally portable counterpart to the round of prayers, religious services, and private devotions that sustained missionaries' sense of self in far-flung mission sites. 2 Examining missionaries' efforts to identify and promote holy people reveal how missionaries and their supporters defined communities as targets of conversion and how they perceived converts' capacities for extraordinary holiness. 3 Allan Greer, for example, has offered telling insight into how creole elites assessed indigenous women's capacity for http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte - Archive for Reformation History de Gruyter

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by the
ISSN
2198-0489
eISSN
2198-0489
DOI
10.14315/arg-2016-0112
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

By Rosemary Lee I. INTRODUCTION Choosing a mission site, mastering vernaculars, and acquiring influential patrons were all crucial items on the missionary's to-do list. Choosing and promoting holy advocates were equally important steps for any mission. Though they would likely not have described it in the same way, missionaries recognized that evangelization was a process of creating new identities and cultures for their converts. One of the most effective ways to do so was through the promotion of saints, who served as reservoirs of cultural memory for Christians both old and new, in Europe and the overseas missions. 1 Missionaries relied on saints not only to act as intercessors for their converts, but also to intercede for themselves. Through their relics and vitae, saints provided an equally portable counterpart to the round of prayers, religious services, and private devotions that sustained missionaries' sense of self in far-flung mission sites. 2 Examining missionaries' efforts to identify and promote holy people reveal how missionaries and their supporters defined communities as targets of conversion and how they perceived converts' capacities for extraordinary holiness. 3 Allan Greer, for example, has offered telling insight into how creole elites assessed indigenous women's capacity for

Journal

Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte - Archive for Reformation Historyde Gruyter

Published: Oct 1, 2016

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