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The Madonna of 115th Street : Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880-1950, Third Edition - Robert A. Orsi

The Madonna of 115th Street

Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880-1950, Third Edition

Paperback Published: 28th September 2010
ISBN: 9780300157529
Number Of Pages: 360

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A twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Robert A. Orsi's classic study of popular religion in Italian Harlem. In a new preface, Orsi discusses significant shifts in the field of religious history and calls for new ways of empirically studying divine presences in human life. ""The Madonna of 115th Street" has over the last quarter century become a classic of American religious history. There are few books that I have enjoyed teaching more over the years and even fewer that have taught me as much about American Catholic history."--Leigh E. Schmidt, author of "Hearing Things: Religion, Illusion, and the American Enlightenment"

"[Orsi] convey[s], at times movingly, the sense of loss that is part of the immigrant experience and the tensions that it produces in the immigrant family."-Vincent Crapanzano, Times Literary Supplement


"An imaginative and subtly written account of the development of Italian community life in New York. . . . It is an excellent analysis of a complex religious and domestic experience."-Sunday Times


Awarded the Alpha Sigma Nu National Book Prize for outstanding book in the humanities sponsored by Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States
Winner of the 1986 John Gilmary Shea Prize given by the American Catholic Historical Association

"A superb piece of work. Orsi makes a major contribution toward our understanding of popular religion, the experiences of immigration and community formation, and American Catholicism."-David O'Brien, College of the Holy Cross


"By showing the intimate relationship between home and devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Orsi demonstrates the unique role Italian American women played in creating a sense of community in the Harlem of the 30's and 40's. The different ways men and women adapted old tradition, including popular religion, to meet new needs proves beyond question that gender is an essential category of historical analysis."-Temma Kaplan, Historian, Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women, Barnard College, Columbia University


"This story is as quintessentially American as it is Italian-of a basement madonna whose adoration long symbolized the hopes, realities, and sorrows of a vibrant immigrant people. It is stunning achievement, not only for its author, but for a powerful new union of social history and religious studies."-Jon Butler, University of Illinois at Chicago


"The demand is for studies of popular religion. Long popular in France, it has arrived in America. Orsi has done the best job of it I have read thus far. He understands the need for, but also the limitations of institutional history. This tale of the village church of Italian Harlem, focusing on 'la mamma della casa,' the image of the Madonna del Carmine, is a breakthrough, a significant contribution not only to understanding the innermost levels of Italian American religion, but to the American urbanization of rural Italian villagers. It is vivid and it is intimate in its picture of the Italian concept of 'family,' in its sympathetic yet scholarly understanding of the relationship of a people's religion to institutional forms. This is 'people history' at its best."-James Hennesey, S.J., Professor of the History of Christianity, Boston College


"In his new introduction to The Madonna of 115th Street, Robert Orsi brilliantly chronicles the twisting course of American religious studies since the book was first published in 1986. Here he defends a distinctive ethnographic approach to religious history, while exposing generic uses of 'history' and 'religion' as much abused sources of power and arrogance. He relates the inward searching prompted by his archival and relational research and examines the changing features of the festa since the book was first published. It is a dazzling addition to one of the most influential analyses of religion in our time."-R. Marie Griffith


Introduction to the Third Editionp. ix
Introduction to the Second Editionp. xxvii
Introduction: Popular Religion and Italian Harlemp. lvii
The Days and Nights of the Festap. 1
Italian Harlemp. 14
The Origins of the Devotion to Mount Carmel in Italian Harlemp. 50
The Domus-Centered Societyp. 75
Conflicts in the Domusp. 107
Conflictp. 109
Women in Italian Harlemp. 129
Toward an Inner History of Immigrationp. 150
The Meanings of the Devotion to the Madonna of 115th Streetp. 163
The Devotion and the Community of Immigrantsp. 163
The Devotion and the People's Faithfulness to Italy and Southern Italian Traditionsp. 168
The Devotion and the Domusp. 171
The Shaping of Cora Harlemp. 178
The Community Reveals Itself to Itselfp. 186
The Devotion and the Larger Collectivities of the City and Nationp. 188
Successp. 191
Healing and the Sense World of the Festap. 193
The Italian Way of Being Humanp. 195
The Festa and the World of Workp. 197
From Suffering to Sacrificep. 202
Women and the Devotion to the Madonna of 115th Streetp. 204
Powerp. 217
The Theology of the Streetsp. 219
A Note on Abbreviationsp. 233
Notesp. 235
Selected Bibliographyp. 271
Indexp. 283
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780300157529
ISBN-10: 0300157525
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 360
Published: 28th September 2010
Publisher: Yale University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.7  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.3
Edition Number: 3
Edition Type: Revised