Counterclericalism: Vernacular commentary on the power of the catholic priest in atlantic Canada

McDavid, Sara Jodi (2012) Counterclericalism: Vernacular commentary on the power of the catholic priest in atlantic Canada. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This thesis examines the role of priests in Atlantic Canada (focusing on Newfoundland, Cape Breton and New Brunswick), drawing on legend, personal experience narrative, and popular culture as presented in oral tradition, archival sources and popular fiction. -- Using the discipline of folklore, but with an awareness of the contributions of history and anthropology, it explores both positive and negative depictions of the priest's role as religious and cultural leader, community icon, hero and villain. The thesis argues that these complex folkloric representations express a nuanced "counterclericalism" that extends the concept of "anticlericalism" as developed by anthropologists and historians, and that communally accepted counterclerical narratives create a venue for discourse on the nature of power in general. -- I propose that the term counterclericalism is better suited to the folkloristic study of vernacular expressions of criticism of clergy, suggesting that the term "anticlericalism" be reserved for other uses.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6153
Item ID: 6153
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 214-228).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 2012
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Atlantic provinces
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Anti-clericalism--Atlantic Provinces; Catholic Church--Clergy--Atlantic Provinces; Authority--Religious aspects--Catholic Church;

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