Indigenous Religions: Politics, Land, Healing|
Spring 2020 not offered
From wise old shamans to heroic pipeline protestors, the media is full of romantic representations of indigenous religion, but what do you really know beyond the stereotypes? If indigenous religion is just religion practiced by indigenous people, is it a category at all? Since the first days of colonialism the question of whether or not the "natives" have or are capable of having religion has had political consequences. This class introduces students to the historical and political contexts within which indigenous peoples practice their religions, and critically engages with popular stereotypes. Using ethnography, fiction, critical theory, and the instructor's own fieldwork materials, we will examine some of the criteria by which indigenous religious practices have been romanticized or judged lacking by outsiders: What does an oral tradition sound like? What does it mean to engage in place-based religion? What is a "noble savage," what are sacred sites, animate landscapes, and what are some of the ways indigenous peoples really do relate to the environment in radically different ways? What are some of the contradictions and complications of multiculturalism and the politics of recognition when it comes to indigenous populations? While this is not a survey course, students will be introduced to case studies of indigenous religious practices from North America, Australia, and Siberia.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (RELI-MN)(RELI)(SISP-Reli Conc)
Vine, Deloria, Jr. GOD IS RED: A NATIVE VIEW OF RELIGIONS
Sildo, Leslie Marmon, CEREMONY
Aimatov, Chingis, THE DAY LASTS MORE THAN 100 YEARS
King, Alexander, LIVING WITH KORYAK TRADITIONS: PLAYING WITH CULTURE IN SIBERIA
Taylor, Charles, MULTICULTURALISM
|Examination and Assignments: |
Readings, class participation, reading responses, take-home exams
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the "Thematic Approach" or "Historical Traditions" requirement for the Religion major and is part of the sustainability across the curriculum initiative.