Native American Spirituality: A Critical Reader

Book, 2000, 334 pp
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Spirituality may be the most contentious and poorly understood dimension of Native American communities today. For generations the religious beliefs and practices of Native Americans have been the subject of public fascination and scholarly inquiry. Unfortunately, this ongoing interest has all too frequently been fueled by facile generalizations, inaccurate information, or inappropriate methods of investigation. Given the legacy of misrepresentation and mistrust, is it possible to fully appreciate the religious meanings and experiences of Native Americans?

This volume offers a stimulating, multidisciplinary set of essays by noted Native and non-Native scholars that explore the problems and prospects of understanding and writing about Native American spirituality in the twenty-first century.

"Fourteen Indigenous and Settler thinkers team up to tackle questions around Indigenous spiritualities: How are traditional ways being represented and commodified. What are the current politics surrounding their recognition? Who can talk about them, let alone teach them? How have specific spiritualities changed--as all traditions do--over time? Why are Indigenous communities so much more comfortable with "syncretism" than Settlers? It's a thoughtful collection that offers both an historical overview and a discussion of current concerns."

Editors' Picks for Further Reading from Quest for Respect: The Church and Indigenous Spirituality

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