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This page intentionally left blank Series Foreword Philip Goff S ome years ago, Winthrop Hudson, a leading religious historian, began his survey book on religion in America with a description of a London street. Multiple faith traditions in today's United States trace their roots to English lineage, most notably the Episcopal, Methodist, and Baptist churches.
But that sort of literary device would not hold up under the pressure of today's diversity. Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Dutch Reformed adherents would balk at such oversimplification—and those are just a few among only the Protestant Christians. Add the voices of Jews, Eastern Orthodox, Muslims, Buddhists, and Irish, Italian, and Polish Catholics, and we would have a powerful chorus demanding their stories be told.
And their stories do not begin on the streets of London. Of course, Hudson knew that was the case. His point was not that all significant American religions began in England, but that, "with only a few exceptions, the varied religious groups of America have their roots abroad. Today's scholarship has broadened that focus to include African, Asian, Central and South American, as well as Canadian and some "homegrown" traditions that are on their way to becoming worldwide faiths.
If ever scholarship in American religion has reflected the lineage of its people, it is in the recent writings that have moved beyond conventional ideas of faith traditions to include non-Anglo peoples who, while often existing off the radar screen of the establishment, have nonetheless formed much of the marrow of American religious life.
That is, should we seek to comprehend America's present religious scene by understanding its roots? Or should we try to understand it by looking at its transformations? Of course, the truth lies somewhere in between. Nor can one determine the transformations those faith traditions underwent in America without knowing a good deal about their Old World forms.
The American experience, then, is one of constancy of tradition from one angle and continual revision from another.
The fact that they may look, think, and sound different than their Old World forms does not negate the fact that they are still recognizably Methodist and Buddhist in their new contexts. This book series is meant to introduce readers to the basic faith traditions that characterize religious life today by employing that continuum of constancy and change.
Each volume traces its topic from its Old World beginnings when it applies to its present realities. In doing so, readers will see how many of the original beliefs and practices came to be, as well as how they transformed, remained nearly the same, or were complemented by new ones in the American environment.
In some cases—African Americans and Mormons most clearly—the Old World proved important either implicitly or imaginatively rather than explicitly and literally. But even in these cases, development within the context of American culture is still central to the story.
To be sure, each author in this series employed various approaches in writing these books. History, sociology, even anthropology, all play their parts.
Each volume, then, may have its idiosyncrasies, as the authors chose which approaches worked best at which moments for their respective topics. These variations of approach resemble the diversity of the groups themselves, as each interacted in various ways at different stages with American society.
Not only do these volumes introduce us to the roots and development of each faith group, they also provide helpful guides to readers who wish to know more about them. By offering resources for research—including published primary and secondary sources as well as helpful Web sites—the series presents a wealth of helpful information for formal and informal students of religion in America.
Clearly, this is a series conceived and published with the curious reader in mind. It is our hope that it will spur both a deeper understanding of the varieties of religious experience in the United States and better research in the country's many and always changing traditions.
Winthrop Hudson, Religion in America, 4th ed. Macmillan,p. This page intentionally left blank Preface T his book differs from several others in the series because it does not focus on a single religious tradition e. Instead, it addresses a broad category, new religious movements, several of which will also be discussed in other volumes, but in rather different contexts and from different perspectives.
Potentially hundreds or even thousands of religious groups could fall within this book's purview. Consequently, choices must be made about which groups to display and discuss. But that is one of the hallmarks of the academic study of religion.
In that sense, the study of new religious movements is no different than the study of any other religious movements. It involves the description, analysis, and interpretation of specific religious data both guided by and brought to bear upon prominent theoretical interests.
But, as the first chapter demonstrates, virtually everything about new religious movements has been controversial, and not only in the last thirty or forty years. Nearly every time a new religious movement has surfaced in American history, it has been dogged by opponents who have doubted its truth, sincerity, and motives.
This book, then, must necessarily be a guide to difficult and contested terrain. It aims to map the territory occupied by new religious movements throughout American history, investigate their often fractious relations with their surrounding environments, promote an accurate and sophisticated understanding of their distinctive practices and beliefs, and chart the paths along which more detailed research into particular groups or themes might proceed.The wakan Mysteries of the Siouan peoples have been a subject of interest and study by explorers and scholars from the period of earliest contact between whites and Indians in North America, but Black Elk's account is without doubt the most highly developed on this religion and cosmography.
This introduction to the fundamentals of Native American women's studies first looks at several definitive topics created by the western cultural notion of feminism, and western historical and religious perspectives on women. You can also check the 20 topics on Native American literature for a literary analysis for more assistance.
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Check how to write a literary analysis on Native American literature to score a great grade. References: Powell, J. (). Indian linguistic families of America north of Mexico. [Washington]: [U.S.
G.P.O.]. Thompson, S. (). Being Black Elk’s second cousin, Black Elk was able to closely see the actions of the government towards the Native Americans.
In May of , Chief show more content Black Elk plays a major role in retelling the history of the Lakota Native Americans. The American Religious Experience Philip Goff, Series Editor GREENWOOD PRESS Westport, Connecticut • London Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Gallagher, Eugene V.
The new religious movements experience in America / Eugene V. Gallagher, p. cm. — (The American religious experience) Includes bibliographical references and index. Starhawk says that The Old Religion, as we call it, is closer in spirit to Native American [email protected] Both religions teach its followers the importance of understanding and action.
Through reading Starhawk and Black Elk essays in the textbook, it easy to see the meaning of understanding and action.