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Faith in Objects: American Missionary Expositions in the Early Twentieth Century (Contemporary Anthropology of Religion) Hardcover – November 22, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0230116726 ISBN-10: 0230116728 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


"Thorough, balanced, theoretically informed, and gracefully written. The strength of the study is the wonderful way in which the author takes complex anthropological issues and lucidly demonstrates their relevance for the understanding of this important exhibition. The book will expand a very small literature, making an enormous and thoroughly original contribution."--David Morgan, professor of Religion, Duke University
"Published on the centennial of the World in Boston, this fascinating and well written account reveals the hidden story of an important collection and its complex exhibition history. This book is a major contribution to the study of museums, expositions, and religions in early twentieth-century America. From it, we learn that these seemingly diverse arenas shared more in common than we have ever realized."--Ira Jacknis, professor, Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, UC Berkeley

"Hasinoff resurrects a little known form of display, the early twentieth-century missionary exhibition, which was designed to enliven domestic interest in and support for 'missionization' through showcasing objects which missionaries in the field collected as proof of their intervention. These exhibitions, with their 'evangelizing effects' had a profound impact on the image of the 'Other' in the popular imagination as well as the development of 'properly' ethnological collections, and thus the history of anthropology. Hasinoff is to be commended for bringing the afterlife of these singularly interesting artifacts – or 'Christian attractions'--to light. This book is vital reading for students of material culture, religious studies, anthropology, and the new museology."--David Howes, professor of Anthropology, Concordia University and editor of The Varieties of Sensory Experience, Cross-Cultural Consumption, among other works

"Hasinoff explores the links between religious faith and a desire for objects and collections. Her book is unique in its consideration both of the missionaries and those they attempted to convert. The result is a rich and compelling exploration of the complicated nature of religion, colonialism, and local responses."--Chris Gosdon, Chair of European Archaeology, University of Oxford

About the Author

Erin L. Hasinoff is a fellow in Museum Anthropology at Bard Graduate Center and in the Division of Anthropology of the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

More About the Author

Erin L. Hasinoff is a research associate in the Division of Anthropology, the American Museum of Natural History and she teaches in the Department of Anthropology, Columbia University.

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