Beheading the Saint : Nationalism, Religion, and Secularism in Quebec - Zubrzycki, Geneviève

Beheading the Saint : Nationalism, Religion, and Secularism in Quebec

Geneviève Zubrzycki

Yayınevi: Chicago University Press

Yayın tarihi: 02/2017

ISBN: 9780226391687

İngilizce | 224 Sayfa | 14,81x22,4x1,4 cm.

Tür: Kültür Tarihi

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The province of Quebec used to be called the priest-ridden province” by its Protestant neighbors in Canada. During the 1960s, Quebec became radically secular, directly leading to its evolution as a welfare state with lay social services. What happened to cause this abrupt change? Genevieve Zubrzycki gives us an elegant and penetrating history, showing that a key incident sets up the transformation. Saint John the Baptist is the patron saint of French Canadians, and, until 1969, was subject of annual celebrations with a parade in Montreal. That year, the statue of St. John was toppled by protestors, breaking off the head from the body. Here, then is the proximate cause: the beheading of a saint, a symbolic death to be sure, which caused the parades to disappear and other modes of national celebration to take their place. The beheading of the saint was part and parcel of the so-called Quiet Revolution, a period of far-reaching social, economic, political, and cultural transformations. Quebec society and the identity of its French-speaking members drastically reinvented themselves with the rejection of Catholicism. Zubrzycki is already acknowledged as a leading authority on nationalism and religion; this book will significantly enlarge her stature by showing the extent to which a core feature of the Quiet Revolution was an aesthetic revolt. A new generation rejected the symbols of French Canada, redefining national identity in the process (and as a process) and providing momentum for institutional reforms. We learn that symbols have causal force, generating chains of significations” which can transform a Catholic-dominated conservative society into a leftist, forward-looking, secular society.

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