Catalogue


Contemporary Maya spirituality : the ancient ways are not lost /
Jean Molesky-Poz.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
Austin : University of Texas Press, 2006.
description
xx, 201 p.
ISBN
0292713096 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780292713093 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Austin : University of Texas Press, 2006.
isbn
0292713096 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780292713093 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
5908569
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Jean Molesky-Poz is currently a Lecturer in Religious Studies at Santa Clara University in California
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-04-01:
Since civilian rule returned to Guatemala in the 1980s, Guatemalans have been encouraged to express their religious beliefs openly. This study traces the reemergence of Maya spiritual practices and places this reemergence within its social and political contexts. Molesky-Poz (religious studies, Santa Clara Univ.) correctly casts Mayan spiritual renewal as a challenge to Catholicism, mainline Protestantism, and Evangelicism. She draws on in-depth interviews with a number of Ajq'ijab' (keepers of the Maya ritual calendar) and describes the complex, demanding duties they must undertake. For the most part, Molesky-Poz allows contemporary Ajq'ijab' to "speak for themselves," but at times she also interjects the philosophical anthropology of Mikhail Bakhtin, who, she asserts, provides a key to understanding Maya spirituality because Bakhtin interprets religion as a category in the construction of a sacred self. Molesky-Poz gives careful attention to the theological underpinnings of Maya practices, addressing the major tenets of its cosmology, sacred geography, and sacred time. Most notable is her sensitive portrayal of the perceived reciprocity between humans and the Earth. Chapter 3 includes an outstanding, detailed description of the Cholqij (the 260-day sacred calendar), and chapter 6 explores the symbolism of fire. Molesky-Poz contends that in Mesoamerica, fire constitutes an important conduit between humans and the sacred. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General collections, graduate students, and faculty. S. D. Glazier University of Nebraska--Lincoln
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 2007
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Summaries
Main Description
Since the mid-1980s, when Guatemala returned to civilian rule and achieved relative peace and stability, the Maya have begun openly expressing their spiritual beliefs and practices. Jean Molesky-Poz draws on in-depth dialogues with Maya Ajq'ijab' (keepers of the ritual calendar), her own participant observation, and inter-disciplinary resources to offer a comprehensive, innovative, and well-grounded understanding of contemporary Maya spirituality and its theological underpinnings. She reveals significant continuities between contemporary and ancient Maya worldviews and spiritual practices. Molesky-Poz opens with a discussion of how the public emergence of Maya spirituality is situated within the religious political history of the Guatemalan highlands, particularly the recent pan-Maya movement. She investigates Maya cosmovision and its foundational principles, as expressed by Ajq'ijab'. At the heart of this work, Ajq'ijab' interpret their obligation, lives, and spiritual work. In subsequent chapters, Molesky-Poz explores aspects of Maya spirituality-sacred geography (the reciprocal relationship between the earth and humans, sacred places, and the significance of the cross or quatrefoil map), sacred time (how the 260-day sacred calendar is "the heart of the wisdom of the Maya," the matrix of Maya culture), and ritual practice (the distinct way and method of ancestral study, with special attention to fire ceremonialism). She confirms contemporary Maya spirituality as a faith tradition with elaborate historical roots that has significance for individual, collective, and historical lives, reaffirming its own public space and legal right to be practiced.
Main Description
Since the mid-1980s, when Guatemala returned to civilian rule and achieved relative peace and stability, the Maya have begun openly expressing their spiritual beliefs and practices. Jean Molesky-Poz draws on in-depth dialogues with Maya Ajq'ijab' (keepers of the ritual calendar), her own participant observation, and inter-disciplinary resources to offer a comprehensive, innovative, and well-grounded understanding of contemporary Maya spirituality and its theological underpinnings. She reveals significant continuities between contemporary and ancient Maya worldviews and spiritual practices. Molesky-Poz opens with a discussion of how the public emergence of Maya spirituality is situated within the religious political history of the Guatemalan highlands, particularly the recent pan-Maya movement. She investigates Maya cosmovision and its foundational principles, as expressed by Ajq'ijab'. At the heart of this work, Ajq'ijab' interpret their obligation, lives, and spiritual work. In subsequent chapters, Molesky-Poz explores aspects of Maya spirituality--sacred geography (the reciprocal relationship between the earth and humans, sacred places, and the significance of the cross or quatrefoil map), sacred time (how the 260-day sacred calendar is "the heart of the wisdom of the Maya," the matrix of Maya culture), and ritual practice (the distinct way and method of ancestral study, with special attention to fire ceremonialism). She confirms contemporary Maya spirituality as a faith tradition with elaborate historical roots that has significance for individual, collective, and historical lives, reaffirming its own public space and legal right to be practiced.
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Contemporary Maya Spirituality' presents an ethnography that describes the practice of spiritual beliefs and rituals that have formed the core of Maya identity and worldview since prehistoric times.
Long Description
Since the mid-1980s, when Guatemala returned to civilian rule and achieved relative peace and stability, the Maya have begun openly expressing their spiritual beliefs and practices. Jean Molesky-Poz draws on in-depth dialogues with Maya Ajq'ijab' (keepers of the ritual calendar), her own participant observation, and inter-disciplinary resources to offer a comprehensive, innovative, and well-grounded understanding of contemporary Maya spirituality and its theological underpinnings. She reveals significant continuities between contemporary and ancient Maya worldviews and spiritual practices. Molesky-Poz opens with a discussion of how the public emergence of Maya spirituality is situated within the religious political history of the Guatemalan highlands, particularly the recent pan-Maya movement. She investigates Maya cosmovision and its foundational principles, as expressed by Ajq'ijab'. At the heart of this work, Ajq'ijab' interpret their obligation, lives, and spiritual work. In subsequent chapters, Molesky-Poz explores aspects of Maya spirituality-- sacred geography (the reciprocal relationship between the earth and humans, sacred places, and the significance of the cross or quatrefoil map), sacred time (how the 260-day sacred calendar is "the heart of the wisdom of the Maya," the matrix of Maya culture), and ritual practice (the distinct way and method of ancestral study, with special attention to fire ceremonialism). She confirms contemporary Maya spirituality as a faith tradition with elaborate historical roots that has significance for individual, collective, and historical lives, reaffirming its own public space and legal right to be practiced.
Main Description
Since the mid-1980s, when Guatemala returned to civilian rule and achieved relative peace and stability, the Maya have begun openly expressing their spiritual beliefs and practices. Jean Molesky-Poz draws on in-depth dialogues with Maya Ajq'ijab' (keepers of the ritual calendar), her own participant observation, and inter-disciplinary resources to offer a comprehensive, innovative, and well-grounded understanding of contemporary Maya spirituality and its theological underpinnings. She reveals significant continuities between contemporary and ancient Maya worldviews and spiritual practices.Molesky-Poz opens with a discussion of how the public emergence of Maya spirituality is situated within the religious political history of the Guatemalan highlands, particularly the recent pan-Maya movement. She investigates Maya cosmovision and its foundational principles, as expressed by Ajq'ijab'. At the heart of this work, Ajq'ijab' interpret their obligation, lives, and spiritual work. In subsequent chapters, Molesky-Poz explores aspects of Maya spirituality-sacred geography (the reciprocal relationship between the earth and humans, sacred places, and the significance of the cross or quatrefoil map), sacred time (how the 260-day sacred calendar is "the heart of the wisdom of the Maya," the matrix of Maya culture), and ritual practice (the distinct way and method of ancestral study, with special attention to fire ceremonialism). She confirms contemporary Maya spirituality as a faith tradition with elaborate historical roots that has significance for individual, collective, and historical lives, reaffirming its own public space and legal right to be practiced.
Table of Contents
Forewordp. ix
Portal: At the Dawnp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
Introductionp. 1
The Florescence of Maya Spiritualityp. 9
A New Cycle of Light: The Public Emergence of Maya Spiritualityp. 11
Maya Cosmovision and Spirituality: Selecting, Examining, and Stretching Out Filaments of Lightp. 34
A Cultural Inheritancep. 55
Ajq'ijab': "To Enter the Mystery Is Our Reality"p. 57
The Aesthetics of Space, Time, and Movementp. 91
Sacred Geography: Reciprocity, Ritual Sites, and Quatrefoil Mappingp. 93
The Calendar: Unbundling, Interpreting, and Appropriating the Chol Q'ijp. 127
Ceremony: The Fire Speaksp. 154
Thinking, Contemplating, and Acting into the Futurep. 169
The Ancient Things Received from Our Parents Are Not Lostp. 171
Notesp. 177
Bibliographyp. 183
Indexp. 193
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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