First Published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
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(229mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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US Kirkus Review »
Thirty years' worth of Deloria's essays on religion and Native American life, thoughtfully edited and presented. Deloria is famous as a pioneering Native American activist, legal scholar, and writer (God Is Red, 1973, and Custer Died for Your Sins, 1969, among others), but not as a theologian. Yet he spent four years in seminary and was rooted in a multigenerational family legacy of missionary work among Indians, so his theological opinions carry some weight, as well as his customary bite. Historian James Treat has gathered some of Deloria's most memorable essays and chapters published since 1969, arranged topically and arguing for native autonomy and the need for Indians to eschew white-dominated Christianity and return to traditional tribal religions. Deloria's battles with religious institutions are a recurring motif, as we see him criticizing the Episcopal Church's missions to Indians (he resigned from the Church's task force for minorities in 1969). Other essays deal with legal topics like religious freedom and the government's responsibilities for redress of native grievances. Always, Deloria approaches religion with his attorney mindset: he is pragmatic, solution-oriented, and impatient with illogical arguments. His 1990s essays are generally more even-tempered than his bluntly radical writings from the early 1970s, but some issues still clearly push his buttons. He is particularly choleric about the trendy appropriation of Native American spirituality by whites, an exploitation which Deloria regards as dangerous. ("The non-Indian appropriator conveys the message that Indians are indeed a conquered people and that there is nothing that Indians possess . . . that non-Indians cannot take whenever and wherever they wish," Deloria warned in 1992.) The essays are finished off by Deloria's 1998 afterword, in which he describes in fascinating detail how his own intellectual development was influenced by scholars as divergent as Rudolf Bultmann and James Cone, as well as by "the stories of spiritual power and revelation" he learned growing up. A forceful and clear-sighted anthology. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Vine Deloria
Vine Deloria, Jr., a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota and former director of the National Congress of American Indians, is Professor of History at the University of Colorado. He is the author of numerous books, including Red Earth, White Lies (1995), God is Red (1973), and Custer Died for your Sins (1969).James Treatteaches in the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma. He edited Native and Christian: Indigenous Voices on Religious Identity in the United States and Canada, also published by Routledge.