Beyond Primitivism: Indigenous Religious Traditions and Modernity

By Jacob K. Olupona | Go to book overview

Preface

This volume represents the contributions of scholars who participated in a conference we called to respond to a perceptible lack in Western institutions in the study of “indigenous” religions. This lack is especially indicated in the history of religion programs offered at many US universities. Western religious scholarship, generally the world over, has privileged “world” religions by an absolute linguistic separation into two classes of religious studies: “indigenous” religions and “world” religions. This arbitrary and capricious bifurcation of religious scholarship fails to acknowledge the universality of religious systems of belief across the globe. It fails to acknowledge the very sacred spiritual traditions of Africa, the Americas, Asia, and wherever indigenous people inhabit the earth. With the advent of global secular ideologies, based on technological innovation, many indigenous traditions will continue to confront their own decline. The privileging of “world” religions is largely informed by a particular academic orientation of scholars, whose traditions developed out of the “axial age” civilization paradigm.

While the “world” religious traditions of Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity are amply studied and represented in the academy, the study of “indigenous” religions is speciously cut off from religious studies. Routinely, indigenous religions are restricted to anthropology or folklore. To correct this anomaly, to sensitize the larger academic community to the significance of native religious traditions in the world today, and to provide a rationale for their study, my colleagues in the American Academy of Religion formed a study group to raise awareness of this incongruity in lectures and sessions at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion. The central purpose of this study group is to create a forum in which to discuss theoretical and substantive issues, to investigate and understand indigenous and native traditions, and to augment the few available resources of the academy for examining indigenous religions.

Our study group began to attract a critical mass of internationally known scholars, whose primary interests epitomize the diversity of world religions. Because of the restraints of space, only the contributions of a very few scholars of indigenous religions are mentioned here in this volume. There are many thousands of indigenous religions in every continent across the globe that remain unrepresented. Showing significant empathy for the study of indigenous religion in American universities, a variety of scholarly opinions is represented in the study group by leading scholars: Tu Weiming of Harvard University; Jill Raitt of the University of Missouri, Columbia; the venerable Huston Smith, Professor Emeritus of the University of California, Berkeley; and Ewert Cousins of Fordham University, New York. Subsequently, many other scholars of indigenous traditions have joined in the discussion: Inés Talamantez, Mary McDonald, Charles Long, David Carrasco, Philip Arnold, and Diane Bell.

-xiv-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Beyond Primitivism: Indigenous Religious Traditions and Modernity
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 352

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.