Historical Research · history · religion · Uncategorized

An Update – Research, Nuns, Jesus Camp

I have wanted to write here for a long time.  I pay for this blog and I have been neglecting it.  It seems an odd thing to do for someone like me – I have a lot of things to say.

I have been working on my writing in private and I have also been doing a lot of research primarily on the history of women, women’s lives, and religion.  Most recently, I have been fascinated by the lives of nuns.  The concept of faith has rung loudly in my ears.  Nuns seem to have this faith and I can’t put my finger on it.  Is it the joy, the simplicity, the trust in god?  So more research ensues.

I know it’s an odd topic but I love it.  Religion fascinates me because it is so ugly and so beautiful simutaneously.  It creates odd feelings inside of me.  I recently found this paper I wrote in my old bible case.  It was a page with a list of questions discussing my being “saved” and “accepting” of Christ.  It was weird reading it now.  I haven’t thought about god that way in a very long time – the concept of god changed for me before I hit my 20s and I have never really discussed to anyone except for my husband since.  I am not sure if I will dive deeper on that topic in a public space, but I may someday.

If you wan to watch something interesting (and not about nuns), I recommend watching Jesus Camp which is currently on Canadian Netflix.  This documentary gives insight into a christian (pentecostal) summer camp.  Basically, children are taught to be soldiers of god (political soliders) and they discuss faith, sin, evolution, and abortion issues.  There is a lot of fear feeding to children and I admit, it is a bit frightening.  Let me know if you have watched this documentary and how you felt about it.

I have a few essays regarding my research I hope to post soon. Until then, please leave me a comment if you have any suggestions on books, articles, or documentaries to watch pertaining to religion, women, nuns, or anything interesting!  I would be most grateful.

Jacqueline

Historical Research · history · Uncategorized · Writing

No Place Like Home – Introduction

no-place-like-home

It is odd really, diving into someone else’s life.  When I found this book (or the book found me) I realized I really didn’t know much about the past.  I’ve watched period films, read historical fiction and history books, but none of these things prepare you for what its like to read another person’s words, seeing their thoughts, feeling their struggles, their happiness.

It’s hard to block out your own voice while reading other people’s words. I kept questioning why this, why that.  I suppose that’s why I kept reading.  Our minds, in our current culture, I think, cannot fully understand or accept a lot of things that have happened or why life was the way it was.

The reason why I study history is because I want to sink into what it must have been like to be these women – a 12 year old girl, sent off to another country to be educated; a wife sent off to sea with her new husband; a teenager coming of age.

To me the most difficult part of studying these women was to understand their view of the world.  Where did their voices come from?  Their church, their schooling, their husbands, their families..

One thing’s for certain, the influence the church had on these women’s lives is undeniable  This has become a big part of my research of these women – what were their churches like?  Their ideals?  Was it a fear based worship or a hopeful one?  Obviously some of these questions answer themselves.  The depth of their worship, though, is something that is still very alien to me and because of that, I find it fascinating.

This book, No Place Like Home, are journal entries and letters from 15 women from 1771 to 1938.  I’ve decided that I will do entries regarding these women in pairs, showing further glimpses of their lives.  It has truly been a journey for me and I hope you enjoy what is to come.

Thanks for reading.

Jacqueline