Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Coming Full Circle: Constructing Native Christian Theology

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Coming Full Circle: Constructing Native Christian Theology

Article excerpt

Coming Full Circle: Constructing Native Christian Theology. Edited by Steven Charleston and Elaine A. Robinson. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015, Pp. xvii, 218. $39.00, paper.)

Traditionally theology involves reasoned and organized discourse about the divine, while spirituality has to do with the encounter with the divine. This book leans heavily in the direction of stories and experiences, so a more accurate subtitle would be Constructing a Native Christian Spirituality. The chapters contain personal stories, tribal stories, cultural reflections, and historical references linking Native Americans and dominant politics. Most of the authors refer to the endurance and survival of ancestral and contemporary tribal members.

At the outset Steven Charleston wrestles with the complex interplay between a comprehensive sense of "Native theology" and a narrower sense of personal-tribal theological perspectives. At one and the same time he points to the likelihood of that which is comprehensive, and to the impossibility of that perspective. In his article Jace Weaver writes, "Native cultures can differ from one another as radically as the culture of France versus the culture of Tibet" and acknowledges the difficulties of finding "commonalities" (29). …

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