Honoring Elders: Aging, Authority, and Ojibwe Religion (Religion and American Culture)

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9780231145039: Honoring Elders: Aging, Authority, and Ojibwe Religion (Religion and American Culture)

Like many Native Americans, Ojibwe people esteem the wisdom, authority, and religious significance of old age, but this respect does not come easily or naturally. It is the fruit of hard work, rooted in narrative traditions, moral vision, and ritualized practices of decorum that are comparable in sophistication to those of Confucianism. Even as the dispossession and policies of assimilation have threatened Ojibwe peoplehood and have targeted the traditions and the elders who embody it, Ojibwe and other Anishinaabe communities have been resolute and resourceful in their disciplined respect for elders. Indeed, the challenges of colonization have served to accentuate eldership in new ways.

Using archival and ethnographic research, Michael D. McNally follows the making of Ojibwe eldership, showing that deference to older women and men is part of a fuller moral, aesthetic, and cosmological vision connected to the ongoing circle of life—a tradition of authority that has been crucial to surviving colonization. McNally argues that the tradition of authority and the authority of tradition frame a decidedly indigenous dialectic, eluding analytic frameworks of invented tradition and naïve continuity. Demonstrating the rich possibilities of treating age as a category of analysis, McNally provocatively asserts that the elder belongs alongside the priest, prophet, sage, and other key figures in the study of religion.

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About the Author:

Michael D. McNally is associate professor of religion at Carleton College. He is the author of Ojibwe Singers: Hymns, Grief, and a Native Culture in Motion and Art of Tradition: Sacred Music, Dance, and Myth of Michigan's Anishinaabe 1946-1955.

Review:

This work presents thoughtful philosophical reflections on the very idea of tradition...the author offers refreshing insights... highly recommended. (Choice)

A terrifically thought-provoking study of what honoring elders means. (Heid E. Erdrich The Circle)

An excellent resource for scholars studying aging, eldership, or the Anishinaabe people. (Shelly E. V. Nixon Religious Studies Review)

This is an extraordinarily fascinating book; an insightful and scholarly exploration of Native American attitudes toward aging and eldership. (James Woodward Reviews in Religion & Theology)

Honoring Elders will prove an important foundational springboard for future studies on eldership to come. (Cary Miller American Indian Quarterly)

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Michael D. Mcnally
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Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Like many Native Americans, Ojibwe people esteem the wisdom, authority, and religious significance of old age, but this respect does not come easily or naturally. It is the fruit of hard work, rooted in narrative traditions, moral vision, and ritualized practices of decorum that are comparable in sophistication to those of Confucianism. Even as the dispossession and policies of assimilation have threatened Ojibwe peoplehood and have targeted the traditions and the elders who embody it, Ojibwe and other Anishinaabe communities have been resolute and resourceful in their disciplined respect for elders. Indeed, the challenges of colonization have served to accentuate eldership in new ways. Using archival and ethnographic research, Michael D. McNally follows the making of Ojibwe eldership, showing that deference to older women and men is part of a fuller moral, aesthetic, and cosmological vision connected to the ongoing circle of life--a tradition of authority that has been crucial to surviving colonization. McNally argues that the tradition of authority and the authority of tradition frame a decidedly indigenous dialectic, eluding analytic frameworks of invented tradition and naive continuity. Demonstrating the rich possibilities of treating age as a category of analysis, McNally provocatively asserts that the elder belongs alongside the priest, prophet, sage, and other key figures in the study of religion. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780231145039

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Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Like many Native Americans, Ojibwe people esteem the wisdom, authority, and religious significance of old age, but this respect does not come easily or naturally. It is the fruit of hard work, rooted in narrative traditions, moral vision, and ritualized practices of decorum that are comparable in sophistication to those of Confucianism. Even as the dispossession and policies of assimilation have threatened Ojibwe peoplehood and have targeted the traditions and the elders who embody it, Ojibwe and other Anishinaabe communities have been resolute and resourceful in their disciplined respect for elders. Indeed, the challenges of colonization have served to accentuate eldership in new ways. Using archival and ethnographic research, Michael D. McNally follows the making of Ojibwe eldership, showing that deference to older women and men is part of a fuller moral, aesthetic, and cosmological vision connected to the ongoing circle of life--a tradition of authority that has been crucial to surviving colonization. McNally argues that the tradition of authority and the authority of tradition frame a decidedly indigenous dialectic, eluding analytic frameworks of invented tradition and naive continuity. Demonstrating the rich possibilities of treating age as a category of analysis, McNally provocatively asserts that the elder belongs alongside the priest, prophet, sage, and other key figures in the study of religion. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780231145039

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