ProQuest
Abstract/Details

Contemporary native religious identity: The Indian Ecumenical Conference

Treat, James A.   Graduate Theological Union ProQuest Dissertation & Theses,  1993. 9322126.

Abstract (summary)

Religious life in many contemporary native communities in Canada and the United States is characterized by unusual forms of religious diversity, involving a variety of tribal traditions, intertribal groups, and denominational churches. During the 1960s a number of grassroots native religious leaders recognized the need for religious healing and revival in order to address the profound social crises affecting their communities; they called for an Indian Ecumenical Conference, which was organized by Robert Thomas, Ian MacKenzie and Wilfred Pelletier. Several hundred native people attended the Conference in 1970 at Crow Agency, Montana, and John Snow invited the group to meet a year later on the Stoney Reserve near Morley, Alberta. The Conference became an annual event and attracted hundreds of religious leaders and thousands of native people during the 1970s and 80s for week-long summer encampments focussed on affirming and strengthening native religious identity.

The Indian Ecumenical Conference was an important new experience in the religious history of North America, and a multidisciplinary study of this interreligious, intertribal, religious movement facilitates an exploration of the dynamics of contemporary native religious identity. As a religious movement, the Conference promoted the revival of native religious traditions; religious revival is a product of both continuity and innovation and is rooted in the authenticity of personal religious experience. As an intertribal gathering, the Conference encouraged inclusive attitudes toward religious participation; religious adaptation in a complex and conflictual sociocultural milieu involves a strategic expansion of identities, not a substitution of one comprehensive identity for another. As an interreligious community, the Conference emphasized the shared religious heritage of native people; religious diversity should be viewed in terms of complementarity, and religious solidarity should be expressed through interreligious dialogue, cooperation and advocacy. Contemporary native religious identity is less a function of cultural phenomena described through social scientific methodologies, and more a product of shared interests and perceptions, networks of relationship, the ability to empathize, and an unusual combination of mutual respect and self-deprecating humor.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Religion;
Minority & ethnic groups;
Sociology;
Ethnic studies;
Native American studies
Classification
0318: Religion
0631: Ethnic studies
0740: Native American studies
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Native American
Title
Contemporary native religious identity: The Indian Ecumenical Conference
Author
Treat, James A.
Number of pages
312
Degree date
1993
School code
0080
Source
DAI-A 54/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
ISBN
979-8-208-50375-1
Advisor
Cummings, George C. L.
University/institution
Graduate Theological Union
University location
United States -- California
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertation or Thesis
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
9322126
ProQuest document ID
304041763
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
https://www.proquest.com/pqdtlocal1009185/docview/304041763/C738BF12D20448DFPQ/1