Native American Religions: An Introduction

Native American Religions: An Introduction

Native American Religions: An Introduction

Native American Religions: An Introduction

Synopsis

An introductory textbook that surveys major aspects of the traditional religious lives of native peoples in all parts of the Americas.

Excerpt

This book is an introductory text intended for undergraduates. Non-specialists in the field of native American religions should also find it useful. Several features may be worth noting. First, we survey the entire Americas—North, Meso, and South. We spend the most time on northern traditions, because those seem most likely to interest our probable readers, but we do not slight Mesoamerican or South American traditions. Second, we treat the materials with a consistent format, to facilitate comparisons among the different geographical groups. Thus for each area we discuss the historical and geographical background, views of the natural world, social thought, convictions about the self, views of ultimate reality, and spirituality.

Third, our Introduction deals with both the plan of attack we have developed and the attitude we have assumed toward our materials. Suffice it to say here that we come to the native American groups we study with a strong will to appreciate their achievements and no will to deprecate them. Fourth, our Conclusion surveys the Americas as a whole, offering summary thoughts about how native peoples tended to regard the animal world, tribal life, taboos, the surrounding spirits, death, the afterlife, and several other topics.

Our thanks to Kevin Lynch and Larry Boadt of Paulist Press for sponsoring this project, and to Don Brophy of Paulist Press for several helpful suggestions.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.