Synopses & Reviews
Native Americans practice some of America's most spiritually profound, historically resilient, and ethically demanding religions. Joel Martin draws his narrative from folk stories, rituals, and even landscapes to trace the development of Native American religion from ancient burial mounds, through interactions with European conquerors and missionaries, and on to the modern-day rebirth of ancient rites and beliefs. The book depicts the major cornerstones of American Indian history and religion--the vast movements for pan-Indian renewal, the formation of the Native American Church in 1919, the passage of the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act of 1990, and key political actions involving sacred sites in the 1980s and '90s. Martin explores the close links between religion and Native American culture and history. Legendary chiefs like Osceola and Tecumseh led their tribes in resistance movements against the European invaders, inspired by prophets like the Shawnee Tenskwatawa and the Mohawk Coocoochee. Catharine Brown, herself a convert, founded a school for Cherokee women and converted dozens of her people to Christianity. Their stories, along with those of dozens of other men and women--from noble warriors to celebrated authors--are masterfully woven into this vivid, wide-ranging survey of Native American history and religion.
Religion in American Life explores the evolution, character, and dynamics of organized religion in America from 1500 to the present day. Written by distinguished religious historians, these books weave together the varying stories that compose the religious fabric of the United States, from Puritanism to alternative religious practices. Primary source material coupled with handsome illustrations and lucid text make these books essential in any exploration of America's diverse nature. Each book includes a chronology, suggestions for further reading, and index.
"A scholarly examination of religious life and practices from ancient times through the Colonial period and the Western Expansion, and into the 20th century.... Personal stories of famous and ordinary people are interspersed throughout the text."--School Library Journal
"The sheer volume of data Martin has collected is impressive... Researchers will find plenty potential topics herein, with an extensive list of further reading to aid them."--Kirkus Reviews
"Beautifully written, well illustrated, supported with maps and a bibliography for further reading, Native American Religion is a wonderful addition to the Religion in American Life series. Whether you teach about religion in America or not, this book is a must read."--Religious Studies in Secondary Schools
"Emphasizing the broad diversity of and the role of nature and the environment in Native religions, this well-written account covers the religious beliefs and practices of various tribes."--The Horn Book Guide
"The book is full of fascinating facts and stories... An interesting introduction to a complicated subject."--VOYA
"From ceremonial mounds to modern lawsuits related to sacred sites, the story of Native American religions covers great expanses of time and crosses hundreds of cultures. This book, for ages 12 and up, probes pre-contact traditions, examines cultural exchanges during the colonial period, and treats contemporary challenges facing native peoples."--Curriculum Administrator
Includes bibliographical references (p. 151-153) and index.