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The California frontier is full of reports of the marvelous or miraculous events that defy scientific explanation. Historian Skyler Reidy has been investigating curious stories of the mission era, and he helps us make sense of them.
Skyler Reidy is a PhD candidate in the history department at the University of Southern California. His dissertation analyzes material religion in nineteenth-century California, and argues that settler colonialism drove secularization in the state. Skyler has also published work on the origins of Pentecostalism, and has spoken to academic and public audiences about the history of the California missions.
Skyler was born and raised in Encinitas, California, and now lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughters.
- What does it look like when a society isn’t modern?
- Fr. Juan Crespí, Gaspar de Portolá and the land expedition to Monterey
- The levitating cross and the beginnings of California.
- How does a cross have a social life?
- How do rituals to maintain relationships and define communities?
- The miracle of Mission San Antonio de Padua.
- Who had power in the mission?
- What is syncretism?
To Learn More
- Skyler Reidy at the University of Southern California
- Read more about the early exploration and settlement of California
- Book: Diary of Gaspar de Portolá During the California Expedition of 1769-1770
- Book: Children of the Coyote, Missionaries of St. Francis: Indian-Spanish Relations in Colonial California 1769-1850