Spiritual Encounters: Interactions between Christianity and Native Religions in Colonial America
Publish Date: 1999-02-01
Spiritual Encounters is a comparative and theoretically informed look at the religious interactions between Native and colonial European cultures throughout the Americas. Religion was one of the most contentious, dramatic, and complex arenas of confrontation between Natives and Europeans during the colonial era. This volume fully explores the significance of colonial religious encounters.
Case studies, organized by theme, showcase previously unexamined sources and offer interpretations that shed new light on Native-European religious encounters in the New World. One group of studies examines the extent to which Native peoples internalized Christianity and the cultural mechanisms that enabled them to do so. Other chapters assess in detail the often uneasy relationship between Christianity and coexisting indigenous religious practices involving sorcery and healing. A third set of essays looks at the broader political and economic forces underlying Native-colonial religious encounters. An introduction and epilogue by the editors provide valuable summaries of the broad patterns characterizing the religious interactions between the West and the Other in the colonial Americas.