Published on January 4, 2014 by Amy
In this interdisciplinary collection of essays, Joel W. Martin and Mark A. Nicholas gather emerging and leading voices in the study of Native American religion to reconsider the complex and often misunderstood history of Native people’s engagement with Christianity and with Euro-American missionaries. Surveying mission encounters from contact through the mid-nineteenth century, the volume alters and enriches our understanding of both American Christianity and indigenous religion.
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The essays here explore a variety of post-contact identities, including indigenous Christians, “mission friendly” non-Christians, and ex-Christians, thereby exploring the shifting world of Native-white cultural and religious exchange. Rather than questioning the authenticity of Native Christian experiences, these scholars reveal how indigenous peoples negotiated change with regard to missions, missionaries, and Christianity. This collection challenges the pervasive stereotype of Native Americans as culturally static and ill-equipped to navigate the roiling currents associated with colonialism and missionization.
The contributors are Emma Anderson, Joanna Brooks, Steven W. Hackel, Tracy Neal Leavelle, Daniel Mandell, Joel W. Martin, Michael D. McNally, Mark A. Nicholas, Michelene Pesantubbee, David J. Silverman, Laura M. Stevens, Rachel Wheeler, Douglas L. Winiarski, and Hilary E. Wyss.