In the latest episode of Empire State Engagements Dr. Alyssa Maldonado-Estrada talks about her ethnographic study of Italian-American men’s Catholic devotion, Lifeblood of the Parish; Men and Catholic Devotion in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (NYU Press, 2020). She discussed her experiences over six years of work engaging the parish community; reading tattoos as devotional texts; playfulness and devotion in masculine spaces; the rich history of Italian-American Catholicism in Williamsburg; and the endurance of this parish, tradition, and community – despite decades of challenges ranging from reactionary clergymen to Robert Moses to gentrifying hipsters. [Read more…] about Parish Lifeblood: Italian-Americans In Williamsburg (Podcast)
Episode two of “Empire State Engagements” features a conversation with Dr. Catherine O’Donnell of Arizona State University exploring her book Elizabeth Seton, American Saint (Ithaca, NY: Three Hills/Cornell University Press, 2018).
O’Donnell discussed young Elizabeth Seton’s formative years in New York City, the intellectual forces and family tragedies that informed her spiritual journey, the evolution of American Catholicism, and Mother Seton’s remarkable journey from despair to serenity and, ultimately, sainthood. [Read more…] about Catherine O’Donnell Discusses ‘Elizabeth Seton: American Saint’
The Great Awakening was a wave of increased religious enthusiasm led by evangelical Protestant ministers that first swept through the American Colonies in the 1730s. It made Christianity intensely personal to the average person by fostering a deep sense of spiritual conviction and by encouraging introspection and a commitment to a new standard of personal morality.
While the Great Awakening was very effective in reviving religion, the emotion burned out quickly after the first generation and there was much “back sliding.” By the 1820s conditions were ripe for another round of revival, what became known as the Second Great Awakening. [Read more…] about Infidels and Atheists: 1820 Religious Revival in Saratoga County
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Scott D. Seligman’s new book The Great Kosher Meat War of 1902: Immigrant Housewives and the Riots That Shook New York City (Potomac Books, 2020) is a full account of the Great Kosher Meat War of 1902, a milestone in the history of Jewish-American women. [Read more…] about New Book: The Great Kosher Meat War of 1902
Brad Kolodny started with some curiosity and an Instagram account but wound up with a coffee table book full of his images documenting synagogues from every corner of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
He tracked the evolution of the architecture, from simple buildings to post-modern masterpieces, as well as the growth of the Jewish community on Long Island itself. The post-Second World War boom led to a boom in synagogues as well.
On this episode of the Long Island History Project podcast, we discuss the history of Long Island synagogues, the role they play in their communities, and what drives a man to document their storied histories. [Read more…] about Synagogues of Long Island (Podcast)
The Rev. John G. Fitzgerald, or “Father Fitz” as he was known to contemporaries, was the first resident Roman Catholic priest in Old Forge. He is fondly remembered as a missionary to the widely scattered working people of the region and as a prolific builder of churches.
His obituary in 1925 and local histories rightly focus on his time in Old Forge, but Father Fitzgerald had a significant career prior to that. His early assignments reveal a resourceful and energetic clergyman who made an impact across the Adirondacks and North Country. He served the people of northern New York State for a total of 49 years providing faith, culture, and kindness. [Read more…] about Father Fitz: Missionary to the Adirondacks
Why did Europeans and Americans enslave Africans? How did they justify their actions?
The Bloomingdale Neighborhood History group has announced “Upper West Side Catholics: the History of Ascension Church on West 107th Street,” a presentation by Monsignor Thomas J. Shelley, has been set for Tuesday, February 25, at 6:30 pm.
Monsignor Shelley, author of the recently published book Upper West Side Catholics: Liberal Catholicism in a Conservative Archdiocese and professor emeritus of Fordham, is set to tell the story of this well-known Upper West Side church. [Read more…] about Upper West Side Catholics Talk Set for NYC
Long before the fictional and shocking “Peyton Place” of TV and film fame came along in the late 1950s, and early 1960s there was an actual suburban community where its residents were roiled by rampant scandal, moral and religious hypocrisy and a sensational a murder in their midst. [Read more…] about The Prophet Matthias and Elijah the Tishbite
The Oneida County History Center has announced “Wicca & Witchcraft in Central New York,” a program set for Saturday, October 26th, at 11 am and 1 pm.
Two practicing Wiccans, known as Lady Awen and Lord Teiwaz, will explore concepts such as intuition, wives tales, superstitions, dowsing for water, and other long-held practices, celebrations, and beliefs through the centuries, and consider the tales and traditions handed down through the ages around the world. [Read more…] about Wicca and Witchcraft in Central NY Talk Saturday