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Accidental Gods: on men unwittingly turned divine by Anna Della Subin

March 26, 2022 @ 11:00 am


Ever since 1492, when Christopher Columbus made landfall in the New World and was hailed as a heavenly being, the accidental god has haunted the modern age. From Haile Selassie, acclaimed as the Living God in Jamaica, to Britain’s Prince Philip, who became the unlikely center of a new religion on a South Pacific island, men made divine—always men—have appeared on every continent. And because these deifications always emerge at moments of turbulence—civil wars, imperial conquest, revolutions—they have much to teach us. From nationalist uprisings in India to Nigerien spirit possession cults, Anna Della Subin explores how deification has been a means of defiance for colonized peoples. Conversely, we see how Columbus, Cortés, and other white explorers amplified stories of their godhood to justify their dominion over native peoples, setting into motion the currents of racism and exclusion that have plagued the New World ever since they touched its shores. Accidental Gods was named a best book of the year by Esquire, the Irish Times and the Times Literary Supplement. Subin will speak about her book for the Essex and Darien Libraries on Saturday, March 26 at 11 a.m. on Zoom.

Anna Della Subin is a writer, critic, and independent scholar born in New York. Her essays have appeared in the New York Review of Books, Harper’s, the New York Times, and the London Review of Books. A senior editor at Bidoun, she studied the history of religion at Harvard Divinity School. Accidental Gods is her first book.

This Zoom event is free and open to all. Registration required. For more information or to register please call 860-767-1560 or see: https://www.youressexlibrary.org/adult-services/adults-featured-events/


March 26, 2022
11:00 am
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Essex Library Association
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