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CELTIC-L  May 1999

CELTIC-L May 1999

Subject:

Re: Christian advances

From:

Jacquelyn Kestner <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jacquelyn Kestner <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 27 May 1999 20:19:11 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (274 lines)

----- Original Message -----
From: Gil Hardwick <[log in to unmask]>

> At 09:12 AM 5/26/99 -0400, Jacquelyn Kestner wrote:
>
> >Frankly, I would have been happy to hear about work amoung emigrants and
> >their descendants. However, what I read was about Aborignal people and
> >living in the "bush".
>
> I fail to understand how you make a distinction between emigrants and
> their descendents, and living in the bush with Aboriginal people. Do
> you feel somehow that towns and cities were already built here on this
> continent ready to receive the Europeans when they arrived, while the
> natives kept to themselves out in the bush somewhere?

No, I feel that once you abandon such cultural features are language,
religion, way of life, community structure, you cease to part of the culture
from which you came. Saying Billy-Bob's great-great-granny was from Ireland
doesn't make Billy-Bob part of Celtic culture-especially if he doesn't even
speak a Celtic language.

> What on earth do you think it has taken to get where we are now?

I think it has taken a great deal of cultural adaptation and evolution.


  >Not once, after multiple requests were issued, did you demonstrate how
>culture was transmitted in these areas, nor was any indication of Celtic
>culture managed not to evolve in response to contact with other cultures.
>
> I recall writing at some length on non-literate transmission of culture,
> but that created a flame based on accusations that I was calling the Celts
> illiterate. After that I could no longer be bothered trying to explain
> anything further, suggesting rather that the solution is not found here
> in these list arguments, but out in the real world among real people.

I find it odd that each time someone asks you to explain your assertations,
you counter with "go out to the real world"----well, I've been in the "real"
world, and frankly, though I live in a region of high Celtic descendant
population I can't say North Carolina is a "celtic region".


> The second part of your sentence is confusing. I have nowhere suggested
> or implied that Celtic culture "managed not to evolve" anywhere. Here in
> this country it has evolved quite considerably, or alternatively has in
> some degree 'regressed' if you will. On the one hand we are free of direct
British rule and have to a considerable extent framed the constitution of
this country, while on the other we have a different environment here,
> more like that of South Africa where many Celts went also, variously
> interbreeding with the natives there too.

You are aware that "British" includes the peoples of Ireland, Scotland and
Wales, correct?

Also, you indicate the that society has regressed, where is your evidence of
the "original" starting point to which the society has regressed?

> And to North and South America, as you will.
>
> >Instead, we were told to "think outside the box" and that whatever a
> >person considers themself to be is what they are---unless, of course,
> >they consider themselves to be Christian, in which case they are really
>pagan and just don't know it.
>
> I repeat, the solution to these arguments is not found in the arguments
> themselves, especially pursued via this highly restrictive medium. Can
> I possible get it through to you finally, that there are research methods
> available quite external to the Internet for pursuing said solutions?

There are research elements, certianly. However, that does not mean that as
an academic, I can present "unusual" theories, then tell people "Oh, this is
just the internet, you figure it out yourselves."

> The remainder of your sentence on Christians and pagans is gobbledegook.
>
> The point I have made repeatedly is that people are not Christians merely
because you assert that they are Christians.

I assert that people may be nominally Christian---self identify as
Christian---and may be actual adherents. Also, I assert that Christianity is
the dominant religion in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and yes, even Australia,
based on surveys of self identification.

 To know anything about what they do in fact believe, again, you must get up
from your keyboard and go ask them yourself. You are not going to resolve
the argument by sitting
> there typing all this stuff to this mailing list.

Again, I do go out and interview. My interview base for the case study of
the 1949 revival included 5 formal recorded interviews, use of 10 videotaped
interviews (not collected by me), several previously recorded audio tapes,
somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 written first hand accounts (letters,
church documents, memiors etc), informal interviews with leaders of the
Church of Scotland,  the United Free Church,  United Free Presbyterians and
Faith Mission, informal interviews with non adherents (about 15), informal
interviews with adherents (quite a few, though only about 20 yielded usable
information)----I also attended services in just about every denomination I
could find....and attend coursework on the sociology of religion.

> Good grief! That's common sense!
>
> >My work should be accepted or rejected based on its content---I would be
>more than happy to answer challenges to my conclusions and even alter my
>conclusions if shown to be in error. This is a natural part of research.
>
> I have seen none of your work whatsoever. Like everybody else here I
> have only ever seen expressions of unsupported opinion.

I see. Well, my unsupported "opinions" included references of where you
could look up the information to confirm my assertations........But then, I
could just say, go into the "real" world and find out for yourself---I hear
that's a great way to counter arguements.

That's fine
> with me, as far as it goes, so long as we do not pretend that it is
> scholarly.

Perhaps that is the problem. I do consider this a scholarly exercise. I'm
here to learn---which is what scholarship is all about.


> Nowhere have you posted your hypotheses, or reported how you are going
> to go about testing them.

My hypothesis stated that revival movements in Gaelic speaking areas
(post-Disruption) presented a definite morphology as indicated in Anthony FC
Wallace's revitalization theory. (The theory has been tested with North
American movements, South Pacifc movements, Indian movements, and
interesting for the 1492 Cornish movements---it applies to cultural,
political, literary and religious movements.). I then used the 1949 movement
as a case study and used accounts of the 1843, 1874, 1905, 1921, and 1970
controls.My controls tested whether aspects of the 1949 actually followed
the progression. . I chose the post-Disruption period because teh modern era
tends to be overlooked; when most people study the period, they study
linquistics.  I then used Jack Douglas' interviewing technique, which
indicates 5-25 subjects should be interviewed. I also studied works by
scholars such as Timothy Smith who indicate there is in fact no such thing
as a revival movement. They indicate the media constructs revival movements
externally. In order to test this theory, I manually accessed church records
held at the Scottish Record Office (which I believe I have mentioned before)
and charted the adherency rates-for the purposes of my research the nominal
marker didn't make it.


I have no idea either how you arrive at your conclusions, only that you have
arrived at your conclusions apparently
> on the expectation that we accept them at face value.

Is there anything else you'd like to know?


> My response has been to criticise them on that basis, given that very
> many Celtic people are in fact pagan.

Perhaps Sharon and Danielle could be our "real world". Ladies, may I
interview you? In your perceptions, do you find paganism to be a widely held
belief system in your area? Would you consider them to be the dominant
belief systems?


They openly profess paganism, and
> write books on paganism.

Yes, you mentioned that---but then said Christians were bad for doing the
same.

 But you people posting to this list persistently deny that, arguing
variously that they are not Celts after all, or that
> they are 'assimilated Anglos', or that the people living in the Celtic
> lands are all Christian,

Now, perhaps we've reached another area of misunderstanding. I indicated
that up 97% of the population in Gaelic speaking areas is Christian (based
on adherence), while only 17% of Scotland over all are Christian (based on
adherence). Now, exactly how does that then indicate that I have said all
people living in Wales, Ireland and Scotland are Christian?

Incidentally, let's continue our interviewing, shall we? Neil, Gerald,
exactly what would you consider to the be dominant belief systems in your
areas---and your "home"lands?


 even that individuals are 'left wing radicals'
> with no academic standing. There has been just about every strategy of
denial imaginable.

> If you insist on answers being found on the Internet, subscribe to the
Celtic Christian list, for example. They are all Celts (like all such
> engagements we must establish our lineages first, apparently) but they
> are not all Christians. Further, they have an accompanying list called
CeltOffTopic which is explicitly to discuss pagan belief.

Frankly, if your discussion was on pagan beliefs I would not have entered at
all. However, you made several erroneous statements, not the least of which
was that Christianity was not part of Celtic belief systems.

> >I cannot however, say apples are oranges then not explain why the fruit
> >is suspiciously read in appearance. I then cannot tell people who ask
> >about my research to go out and pick there own fruit if they want to know
>how I reached my conclusions.
>
> Nowhere have I asked you to go pick your own fruit if I want to know
> how you reach your conclusions. I have only asked you how you reach
> your conclusions.

Look above, and read my previous posts.


> <Bulk of repetitive verbiage already addressed - snipped>
>
> >I can only say that if I only had the funds to attend one conference
during
> >the year, and each list member was invited to speak at different
> >conferences, I know which one I'd pay to attend. I'm sorry, but what I've
> >seen in the past two days has been childish and, frankly, besmirches the
> >entire field of Celtic Studies. We have a hard enough time gaining
academic
> >acceptance without resorting to stereotypical name calling when our
>academic ideals are challenged.
>
> Is this really what is bothering you? You people over there are having a
hard time gaining academic acceptance, is it? And you see me as a threat
> to that, do you?

No, I don't see you as a threat. What I see is yet another purveyor of
mis-information about a culture for which I care as great deal---but, sadly,
that is nothing new in this field.


> For heaven's sake, BE BRAVE! Let your research stand on its own merits,
> instead of worrying so about all this 'academic standing' bullshit. In
> the process you might wake up a tad to the games some of those fuckers
> play on the naive.

Are you truly under the impression that foul language will sway me to your
point of view?


> Some of them, especially the Ivy League crowd, proceed as if on a Royal
Progress, waving their hands to bestow favour on some witless deadshit
> as if sprinkling holy water.

What in heck are you talking about? I pay for my education out of my
pocket---nobody bestowed anything on me.


> Take some advice; just do your own work and stay clear of that crap.
>
> Alternatively come out here to Australia, where Irish/Celtic Studies are
> being enthusiastically received. This field is fundamental to Australian
> History and the nature of our society, yet it has taken us all this time
> to overthrow the British hegemony on what constitutes 'academic standing'.

This is totally bizarre. What British hegemony are you talking about? By the
way, those English you constantly denigrade are descendents of the Celts
just as you claim you are. Why do you constantly criticize them, while
proclaiming so-called Celtic solidarity?


> Thinking about it, I begin to realise that we may be farther ahead than
> you in this area. What is certain is that we are not having any problems
> at all finding encouragement for any enquiry we want to pursue.

I'm afraid I wouldn't do well in an "anything" goes environment. However,
I'm glad you were able to find such an institution. Exactly how does your
supervisor react when you call him names such as you used with Ray?

I deleted the portion that attempted to twist my words---yet again a smoke
screen to avoid the issue.

However, I found your comments about the similarities in cultures
interesting. Previously, you were indicating  the Aborigines and the Celts
were one in the same, I take it you have modified this claim?

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