The Age of Bishops and Cathedrals
Gabrielle Guillerm, Red Cloud Indian School
This paper focuses on the new Catholic ecclesiastical order and Catholic landscape that emerged west of the Appalachian Mountains after the War of 1812. It examines how the language that Catholic bishops used for Catholic expansion, as well as the Catholic cathedrals which epitomize that expansion, were powerful tools of settler colonialism. Cathedrals, along with the Catholic bishops’ rhetoric of “civilization” and “wilderness,” were physical landmarks and cultural constructs that denied Native people’s impact on the land, while claiming indigeneity for white Christian settlers. Animated by a similar expansionist mindset, many white frontier Protestants put their anti-Catholic prejudice aside and supported the new Catholic cathedrals.
Respondent: Bryan Rindfleisch, Marquette University
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About the Religion and Culture in the Americas Seminar
The Religion and Culture in the Americas Seminar explores topics in religion and culture including social history, biography, cultural studies, visual and material culture, urban studies, and the history of ideas. We are interested in how religious belief has affected society, rather than creedal or theological focused studies. Seminars are conversational and free and open to faculty, graduate students, and members of the public, who register in advance to request papers.