Ethnophilosophical and Ethnolinguistic Perspectives on the Huron Indian Soul

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Since the Hurons left no written documents on their beliefs, the author relies on evidence provided largely by the French in both published and unpublished sources. Examines the sources in which the Huron conception is contained, namely European philosophy and theology, and analyzes the nature of these cultural forms to reveal the Huron ones hidden underneath: conceptions of the soul which disclose an enriched understanding of human-corporate beings in a cosmic matrix.


"The study's strength lies in its interdisciplinary perspective; literature from ethnohistory, history, linguistics, theology and philosophy is employed as the author attempts to unravel the complex epistemological and conceptual issues surrounding the Huron understanding of the soul.. . . Pomedli's study offers a fresh, if overly detailed, investigation of a key element in the Huron and Jesuit world view. The study makes careful use of a range of primary sources, and brings a new perspective to bear on these materials. In bringing understanding gained from theology and linguistics, Pomedli has made a contribution to our further understanding of Huron culture. . . " - Ontario History

". . . highly recommended to scholars in diverse fields. For those interested in church history, the book is an excellent analysis of early missionary perceptions, or rather misperceptions, of alien religions. Indeed, Pomedli's book should be of considerable use to those analyzing the Jesuit understanding in unrelated cultures such as China. Scholars of Native American religions will find the most penetrating comparative analysis of 17th-century Native religious concepts to date. For those specializing in other Native cultural complexes there is much of value: there are notable common aspects of native religious understanding that can be recognized; the focus on citations from the Jesuit Relations relevant to religion exhumes otherwise hidden gems from the many volumes of text. . . . Pomedli's work illustrates the depth of historical, textual and linguistic analyses that proper comparison of ideas requires." -- Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses

"... a most intriguing study ... Pomedli's is a finely-focused documentation of missionary myopia writ large. Yet, this reviewer is convinced the book was written not only to document a past tragedy but also to point the church provocatively and redemptively toward inclusive levels of spiritual awareness." -- Wayne A. Holst in The Journal of North American Religion

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