Native Christians: Modes and Effects of Christianity among Indigenous Peoples of the Americas

1st Edition

Aparecida Vilaça, Robin M. Wright

Routledge
Published February 18, 2009
Reference - 266 Pages
ISBN 9780754663553 - CAT# Y236825
Series: Vitality of Indigenous Religions

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Summary

Native Christians reflects on the modes and effects of Christianity among indigenous peoples of the Americas drawing on comparative analysis of ethnographic and historical cases. Christianity in this region has been part of the process of conquest and domination, through the association usually made between civilizing and converting. While Catholic missions have emphasized the 'civilizing' process, teaching the Indians the skills which they were expected to exercise within the context of a new societal model, the Protestants have centered their work on promoting a deep internal change, or 'conversion', based on the recognition of God's existence. Various ethnologists and scholars of indigenous societies have focused their interest on understanding the nature of the transformations produced by the adoption of Christianity. The contributors in this volume take native thought as the starting point, looking at the need to relativize these transformations. Each author examines different ethnographic cases throughout the Americas, both historical and contemporary, enabling the reader to understand the indigenous points of view in the processes of adoption and transformation of new practices, objects, ideas and values.

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