Symbol and Conquest makes a number of innovative analytical distinctions which Professor Grimes interweaves skillfully with his descriptions of the rituals and symbols of the two dominant public celebrations in modern Santa Fe. This New Mexican city is an especially appropriate subject for the study of symbolic action in a contemporary setting. Santa Fe not only has inherited a rich store of icons, emblems, and insignia from its dramatic past and an arena of conflict and alliance between "Hispanic," "Anglo," and "Indo" peoples and cultures, but also has generated new "signifiers." In addition to the processions and pageants that are the main focus of his book, Grimes considers such important modern sources of symbolism as tourism, the Chamber of Commerce, the civic "establishment," and other by-products of commercialism. He is also sensitive to the ways in which public symbolism is influenced by the resident artistic community and by immigrant, mostly "Anglo," religious groups who are seeking to construct liturgical forms more in keeping with contemporary experience than those of their metrical churches and sects. --Victor W. Turner.
About the Author
Ronald L. Grimes is the author of several books on ritual, most recently The Craft of Ritual Studies (Oxford University Press, 2014). He resides in Waterloo, Ontario, where he is Director of Ritual Studies International and Professor Emeritus of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University. Recently, he has held the following positions: Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at Charles University, Prague in the Czech Republic; Senior Researcher and Senior Lecturer at Yale University; and Chair of Ritual Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.