Boston Miracle as a religious experience

Wed 22 June 2005

It was very interesting comment by Amy Farell—the important part of the Boston Miracle is that it was described so much with the religious subtone. City deeply immersed in the desperation, sin, and murder is saved by the mission of pastors, who redeem poor black teenagers! It’s a miracle!!!

This comment reminded me also about my thoughts when reading Christopher Winship’s article. In the latter readings of this article I saw quite strongly lack of critical attitude towards the object of his writing, yes the article looks to me like a hagiography of saint-to-be Eugene Rivers, Ray Hammond and police officers who talked with them. I am not saying that they are not incredibly interesting people (and maybe even candidates for sainthood; I am not a Catholic, so I am not knowledgeable in that matter), but that scholarly article is supposed to go deeper in its understanding. No, that’s too much—Winship does offer a lot of analysis and it goes certainly further than just to the description of the story. However, only later I found that there are many other opinions on the whole preachers’ collaboration with police and city government—namely that African-American (and I use this term deliberately, instead of preferred “black”) politicians viewed whole partnership as something between collaboration with enemy and expression of the endless naivity (CommonWealth magazine, Fall 2003, p. 66). I would love to look in my research to both of this debate. Although, I have a tendency to believe volunteering minister more than unsuccesful politican, I do not want to write yet another chapter in Eugene Rivers hagiology.

Category: research Tagged: dissertation BostonMiracle