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Undo the myth maker : a comparison of ritual torture and religious transaction in popular religious rioting during the French Wars of Religion, and the Huron Prisoner of War Execution Ceremony in North America during the end of the sixteenth century

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Undo the myth maker : a comparison of ritual torture and religious transaction in popular religious rioting during the French Wars of Religion, and the Huron Prisoner of War Execution Ceremony in North America during the end of the sixteenth century

Aitken, Robert Charles (2006) Undo the myth maker : a comparison of ritual torture and religious transaction in popular religious rioting during the French Wars of Religion, and the Huron Prisoner of War Execution Ceremony in North America during the end of the sixteenth century. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The late sixteenth and early seventeenth century played host to two separate series of events wherein large groups of commoners willfully participated in ghastly scenes of torture and execution. On the European continent, the French Wars of Religion (1562-1629) afforded groups of average French citizens the opportunity to dismember their religious rivals and neighbors. The infamous season of Saint-Bartholomew was a zenith of such violent behavior. Across the Atlantic, French explorers were just beginning to learn of well-established Iroquoian traditions concerning the execution of prisoners of war. They would learn of common members of society, including women and children, joining in the torture of captives. My thesis is an exploration of ritual torture and religious transaction. The extant to which the violence, in both contexts, reflected a process of undoing the victim was a point of particular interest. Attention was paid, in the North American context, to actions that effectively thwarted the possibility that the victim could ascend to the role of a formidable figure in the myth and felt spiritual reality of the tribe. Similarly, I approached the French context with an eye for behavior, seemingly, resulting in the reversal of the religious authority of the victim; the obstruction of the possibility that, in death, the target could offer a powerful testimonial of his/her religious convictions; or the creation of obstacles to any subsequent change in the status of this figure to that of saint or martyr. Along the way, various findings underscored the role of memory and the communicative capacity of ritual violence.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Religion
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Aitken, Robert Charles
Pagination:iv, 154 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Religion
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):Despland, Michel
ID Code:8984
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:41
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:41
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