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Professor Chazelle made a smooth segue from a discussion of Camden to

the Christianization of Europe during the early Middle Ages by pointing out

the parallels between the frustrations of Father Doyle as expressed in

the poem and the path of Jesus, a path marked by failure

 

 

Books by Celia Chazelle

 

The Crucified God in the Carolingian Era: Theology and Art of Christ's Passion  /  Paradigms and Methods in Early Medieval Studies

 

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Professor Celia Chazelle Advocates Christian Social Activism

in Keynote Speech Delivered at Medieval Studies Conference

By Kam Williams

 

What ordinarily comes to mind when one thinks of a lecture about medieval Europe is a talk a lot less relevant to present-day worldly concerns than the keynote speech recently delivered by Professor Celia Chazelle at a conference held at University College Cork entitled “Envisioning Christ on the Cross.” Chazelle, who chairs the Department of History at The College of New Jersey, had been invited to Ireland to speak about “The Mass and the Eucharist: ‘Image’ of the Crucified Christ, in the Christianization of Early Medieval Europe.”

While the bulk of her otherwise academic address certainly explored that topic at considerable depth, she prefaced her remarks by reading a poem by her Irish-born pastor, Father Michael Doyle, about the seeming futility of the never-ending fight to eradicate the suffering evident in his midst. For 35 years now, Doyle has presided over Sacred Heart Church in Camden, the poorest city in the US, where over 90%  of the population is black and Hispanic.

With the assistance of volunteers like his dedicated parishioner Celia Chazelle, Doyle’s been directly ministering to the needs of the poor via a number of Sacred Heart-based organizations, among them the church’s St. Vincent de Paul Society and affiliated Heart of Camden. These sponsor a weekly dinner, a thrift store, building and home renovations, and a variety of other social programs. Another affiliated organization, the Center for Transformation, oversees a greenhouse, community gardens, and neighborhood cleanups, engages in environmental education and activism in the area, and is in the final stages of establishing a retreat center. All this is located right within Camden’s deteriorating exoskelton.

Professor Chazelle made a smooth segue from a discussion of Camden to the Christianization of Europe during the early Middle Ages by pointing out the parallels between the frustrations of Father Doyle as expressed in the poem and the path of Jesus, a path marked by failure yet leading to resurrection, symbol of faith in the promise of a better tomorrow. The thrust of her ensuing thesis explored the rise of Christianity as a grassroots movement emanating from the bottom up. This incendiary idea cuts a sharp contrast with the conventional thinking of many historians who tend to focus on the conversion of kings and the rest of the aristocratic class as the seminal force.

Nonetheless, in deliberate fashion, Chazelle proceeded to mount a most persuasive case, convincingly threading the fruits of her painstakingly-researched, scholarly efforts with additional anecdotal asides about Father Doyle. Furthermore, the lecture was augmented with photographs effectively juxtaposing contemporary Camden with historical artifacts illustrating the religious rite of the Eucharist, the reenactment of the Last Supper, as routinely practiced by the salt of the Earth a millennium ago.

Ultimately, Chazelle came full circle, returning to share some final insights about her beloved Sacred Heart parish before closing with a rhetorical flourish suggesting that one might partake in the holy tradition of sharing Christ’s body and blood beyond the sacrosanct confines of church in such unlikely environs as a soup kitchen ministering to the homeless or even at the dinner table while simply breaking bread with family and friends. These were the earnest, inspirational sentiments of a foot soldier in the struggle for social justice.

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Make a donation or volunteer at the Camden Center of Transformation

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The Crucified God in the Carolingian Era

Theology and Art of Christ's Passion

By Celia Chazelle

 

The Carolingian ‘Renaissance’ of the late eighth and ninth centuries, in what is now France, western Germany and northern Italy, transformed medieval European culture. At the same time it engendered a need to ensure that clergy, monks, and laity embraced orthodox Christian doctrine. This book offers a fresh perspective on the period by examining transformations in a major current of thought as revealed through literature and artistic imagery: the doctrine of the Passion and the crucified Christ.

The evidence of a range of literary sources is surveyedliturgical texts, poetry, hagiography, letters, homilies, exegetical and moral tractatesbut special attention is given to writings from the discussions and debates concerning artistic images, Adoptionism, predestination, and the Eucharist.

• Gives serious consideration to the neglected area of the development of Carolingian theology • Offers an interdisciplinary approach, combining artistic, religious, and literary sources • Offers a reassessment of some of the most striking and enigmatic representations of the Crucifixion to survive from the Carolingian era.Publisher, Cambridge University Press

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Contents

List of illustrations

Preface

List of abbreviations

 

1. Introduction

2. The passion and Christological inquiry at the court of Charlemagne

3. The crucified God in the Gellone Sacramentary and Hrabanus Maurus' In honorem sanctae cruces

4. The crucified Christ in later Carolingian literature

5. For whom did Christ die?: the controversy over divine predestination

6. One-time sacrifice, daily food and drink: the controversy over the eucharist

7. Three later Carolingian crucifixion images

8. Conclusion; Select bibliography; Index.

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Reviews

The result is without doubt the most thorough study of the passion in the Carolingian period to date.David Appleby, The Medieval Review

[A]n interesting and thorough book, full of insights.Journal of Ecclesiastical History

This book is filled with illustrations, most of them of great interest. . . .There is a comprehensive index and a select bibliography.Oxford Academic Journals

Chazelle’s careful, perceptive and engaging discussions, and her firm grasp of the sources, both primary and secondary, make this book an important contribution to the burgeoning literature on the so-called Carolingian Renaissance.Journal of Ecclesiastical History

This is a work of fine scholarship in a little known area, presented with style as well as insight, illuminating many theological themes which are of relevance today but above all showing how artistic representation and written word complement and illuminate one another.Journal of Theological Studies

This is a book in the best tradition of sophisticated theological, intellectual, and iconographical analysis. It should be required reading for all those concerned to explain that most distinctive of medieval constructions: the devotion - both intellectual and affective - to the crucified Christ.Journal of Religion

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Basil Davidson's  "Africa Series"

 Different But Equal  /  Mastering A Continent  /  Caravans of Gold  / The King and the City / The Bible and The Gun

West Africa Before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850

By Basil Davidson

African Slave Trade: Precolonial History, 1450-1850

By Basil Davidson

John Henrik Clarke—A Great and Mighty Walk

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books

For July 1st through August 31st 2011
 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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Enjoy!

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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posted 18 April 2010 

 

 

 

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