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Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits Hardcover – November 25, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0195174878 ISBN-10: 0195174879

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (November 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195174879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195174878
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.5 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,768,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Greer masterfully constructs the inner world of a woman who has stood as a symbol of power and purity to French nationalists, Native, and Catholic Americans for three hundred years. Mohawk Saint exemplifies the methodological innovation and versatility needed to tell the stories of New World encounters."--Letters in Canada

"Greer's goal is to create history from hagiography." --The Catholic Historical Review

"Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits is a fascinating and beautifully written account of cross-cultural encounter and transformation in seventeenth century New France. Greer's book is a masterpiece of cross-cultural interpretation and contextual analysis." --Hinerario

"...a very good examination of the life of Blessed Kateri, her way of life and that of her people. It is also a good presentation of the French and their way of life in France and in New France."--Seventeenth-Century News

"This book is an excellent example of what an analysis of life on both sides of the ocean can reap.... I strongly recommend Mohawk Saint to the readers of the Atlantic history list. I also recommend it for anyone interested in colonial America, Native America, spiritual practice, or identity issues in Europe or America. Finally, it is deftly written and would make terrific reading for upper-level and graduate courses."--H-NET

"Greer masterfully sheds light on everything he writes about..."--CHOICE

"In rescuing the "lily of the Mohawks" form her hagiographers, Allan Greer has produced an utterly fascinating volume."--Michael Walsh

About the Author

Allan Greer is Professor of History at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The People of New France, Peasant, Lord, and Merchant: Rural Society in Three Quebec Parishes, 1740-1840, The Jesuit Relations: Natives and Missionaries in Seventeenth-Century North America, and co-editor of Colonial Saints: Discovering the Holy in the Americas, 1500-1800.

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Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles R. Kilmer on January 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting look into St Kateri's life. It vividly explains the culture and the different points of view of the French and the Mohawks.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By writermusiclover on July 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was hoping that I would like this book. After all, it is about one of my favorite saints - a long time before she was canonized. While I know that this book allows the historical context of the era in which it was written, I am sorry to say that I do not like it. The author chooses to take a patronizing and condescending tone. Other reviewers are right when they say that the author brings her down.

It does not talk about some of the reasons she became a saint. Kateri - and yes, I am calling her Kateri, not "Catherine", a name which I had never heard used until this book - had an amazing devotion to the Eucharist. She walked to Mass every day despite the weather. She served others, Christian and non-Christian alike. She is a shining example of a good Christian for every age. Why couldn't the author focus on what matters?

Honestly, it was a book that I had to read for class. Otherwise, I think I wish I wouldn't have gotten it.
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47 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Paula Anne Sharkey Lemire on November 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is not a biography of the humble young Mohawk woman whose courage, holiness, faith, and purity earned her (as thousands who know and love her truly believe) that place in Heaven. This book, in the author's own paraphrased words, is meant to "bring Tekakwitha down from heaven." (And it is part of a gloomy trend to do just that - to as much as one can to bring one's subject down.) And, thankfully, despite over two hundred pages of trying, he has not succeeded in dragging her down.

There are people who were primarily historic figures and those whose lives are mainly of religious significance. Blessed Kateri (or Catherine, as the author prefers to call her) Tekakwitha was very clearly the latter. But this book approaches her from the former point of view, making her a postmortem pawn in the Jesuit's missionary work among the natives in Canada. The mystical and the supernatural (from a religious view) are ignored. The author seems even unwillingly to use the title of "Blessed" in reference to her.

At one point, the author even seems - in a very subtle way - to imply the Kateri and her closest friend (Marie-Therese Tegaiaguenta)were lovers. If, as he writes, there is "no reason to think they were lovers," why mention it at all? What does it serve?

The author dwells on each and any discrepancy in the original accounts by the two missionaries who knew Kateri during the last years of her life. (Even the Bible - in all its various popular translations - has its discrepancies.) Any story of any person, any account of any event is bound to have differences when told by two different witnesses. That alone is not enough reason to discount the differences.
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