Cover image for For this land : writings on religion in America
For this land : writings on religion in America
Deloria, Vine.
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Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 1999.
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vii, 311 pages ; 23 cm
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E98.R3 D43 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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First Published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Author Notes

Vine Deloria, Jr., a member of the Standing Rock SiouxTribe of North Dakota and former director of the NationalCongress of American Indians, is Professor of History atthe University of Colorado. He is the author of numerousbooks, including Red Earth, White Lies(1995), God isRed(1973), and Custer Died for your Sins(1969).JamesTreatteaches in the Honors College at the University ofOklahoma. He edited Native and Christian: IndigenousVoices on Religious Identity in the United States andCanada, also published by Routledge.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Best known for God Is Red (1973) and Custer Died for Your Sins (1969), which raised consciousness of Indian rights two decades ago, Deloria continues to work on the relationship of law and religion. For, he argues, sacred land is the basis of Indian religion, and thus questions of treaty rights and other legal matters cannot be separated from spiritual concerns. This collection of shorter writings shows that he has been exploring such questions, which are ultimately philosophical, during his entire distinguished career. Of widest appeal among them is, perhaps, an essay on the intrinsic sacredness of land. In it he argues that some places have significance beyond the cultural, possessing a holiness that is felt as dread and awe by all humans. Until this profound meaning in land is generally acknowledged, Indians and others cannot find truly common ground, legal or religious. --Patricia Monaghan

Publisher's Weekly Review

In The Red Man in the New World Drama, Native American activist, lawyer and religious leader Deloria trenchantly declared, "While America has produced great businessmen and scientists, it has been unable to produce one great philosopher or theologian." Though controversial, Deloria's writings have challenged continually the ways that religious thinkers understand the relationship between the practices of American religion native and imported. From the beginning of the American experiment, Deloria notes, the unique beliefs and rituals of indigenous American religion have been replaced by the polity and practice of European Christianity. To return to the values of a distinctly American religion, he asserts, means recognizing that the American land serves as the fountain of human existence and the standard of religious revelation in this place. Deloria gathers in this collection of essays from 1965 to 1995 his most forthright reflection and writing on American religion, nicely divided into five sections examining such topics as "The Theological Dimension of the Indian Protest Movement," "Religion and the Modern American Indian," "Sacred Lands and Religious Freedom," and "Is Religion Possible?: An Evaluation of Present Efforts to Revive Traditional Tribal Religions." In his afterword to this volume, Deloria declares that the "old mainstream churches have hardly any relevancy for our time." Although he has sought unity between American Christianity and Native American religion for many years, he disdains religious expressions by either community that substitute the form of religious practice for an experience of the substance of the sacred. Finally, throughout these essays Deloria emphasizes, as he said in God Is Red, "Religion cannot be kept within the bounds of sermons and scriptures. It is a force in and of itself and it calls for the integration of lands and people in harmonious unity." Deloria's forceful and important essays deserve a wide reading. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Deloria, who is a Sioux, has been a major figure in Native American affairs for several decades and is perhaps best known for his political activism. He has also written widely on religion and Native Americans, including such books as God Is Red (North American, 1993. 2d ed.). Although he received a graduate degree from a Lutheran seminary in 1963, he no longer considers himself a Christian. This anthology contains a selection of his writings on religious topics, originally published between 1965 and 1994, in which Deloria describes a number of issues related to American Indian religion and interactions with Christianity. It also provides a good overview of Deloria's religious philosophy and gives some insight into the evolution of his religious views over time. For academic libraries.¬ĎGwen Gregory, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introduction: An American Critique of ReligionJames Treat
I White Church, Red Power
1 Missionaries and the Religious Vacuum (1969)
2 The Theological Dimension of the Indian Protest Movement (1973)
3 Religion and Revolution Among American Indians (1974)
4 Non-Violence in American Society (1974)
5 The Churches and Cultural Change (1974)
6 GCSP: The Demons at Work (1979)
II Liberating Theology
7 A Violated Covenant (1971)
8 An Open Letter to the Heads of the Christian Churches in America (1972)
9 It is a Good Day to Die (1972)
10 Escaping from Bankruptcy: The Future of the Theological Task (1976)
11 On Liberation (1977)
12 Vision and Community (1990)
III Worldviews in Collision
13 Religion and the Modern American Indian (1974)
14 Native American Spirituality (1977)
15 Civilization and Isolation (1978)
16 Christianity and Indigenous Religion: Friends or Enemies? (1987)
IV Habits of The State
17 Completing the Theological Circle: Civil Religion in America (1976)
18 American Indians and the Moral Community (1988)
19 A Simple Question of Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of the Reburial Issue (1989)
20 Sacred Lands and Religious Freedom (1991)
21 Worshipping the Golden Calf: Freedom of Religion in Scalia's America (1991)
22 Secularism, Civil Religion, and the Religious Freedom of American Indians (1992)
V Old Ways in A New World
23 Introduction to Black Elk Speaks (1979)
24 The Coming of the People(1979)
25 Out of Chaos (1985)
26 Reflection and Revelation: Knowing Land, Places and Ourselves (1991)
27 Is Religion Possible? An Evaluation of Present Efforts to Revive Traditional Tribal Religions (1992)
28 Introduction to Vision Quest (1994) Vine Deloria, Jr
Afterword: Contemporary Confusion and the Prospective Religious Life
Appendix 1 The Missionary in a Cultural Trap (1965)
Appendix 2 from the Archives: December 2, 1504