Native American Religions of Central and South America: Anthropology of the Sacred

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $6.44
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 93%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (19) from $6.44   
  • New (8) from $58.77   
  • Used (11) from $6.44   


The New World came into being in the Europeans' encounter with the indigenous religions and cultures of Central and South America. Yet these religions remain little known or are filtered through inadequate categories such as "animism," "superstition," or "syncretism." In this volume, an international group of the finest authorities working on the subject provide rich descriptions and provocative interpretations of religious ideas rarely gathered in one place. Since an exhaustive treatment would be impossible (it is estimated that there could be as many as fifteen thousand different South American languages living or extinct), the aim is to illustrate something of the range of religious beliefs and practices through cases that are exemplary. The first part of the book describes the religious views of the Aztec, Maya, and Inca, dating from the time prior to contact with Europeans. The rest of the book treats contemporary cases from the major cultural and geographical areas of Central and South America. Whether the focus is on myth, architecture, ritual celebrations, or shamanic practice, each essay provides a distinctive profile of the culture in question.Contributors include David Carrasco, Edgardo J. Cordeu, Mercedes de la Garza, Alfredo López Austin, Juan Ossia Acuña, Alejandra Siffredi, Lawrence E. Sullivan, Terence Turner, Peter van der Loo, Robin M. Wright, and Reiner Tom Zuidema.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Sullivan (director, Ctr. for the Study of World Religions; history of religion, Harvard) has compiled a well-balanced collection of essays by respected scholars on the history and roles of spirituality in a variety of Native American cultures. The groups included are as diverse as the Mescalero Apache, Lakota, Muskogee, and Tlingit. Sullivan's insightful introduction explains why each of the nine essays was selected, providing a broader examination of the ramifications of the anthropological study of Native American spirituality. All the essays unequivocally show that a dynamic religious vitality remains present in the Native American cultures examined. Each explores in depth the historical and contemporary significance of various Native American religious practices as well as the impact wrought by exposure to Christianity over the last two centuries. This excellent collection presents dignified and respectful views of Native American spirituality and is highly recommended for anthropology and religion collections in academic libraries.--Elizabeth Salt, Otterbein Coll. Lib., Westerville, OH Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826411198
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 6/24/2002
  • Series: Anthropology of the Sacred Series
  • Edition description: ILLUSTRATE
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence E. Sullivan is Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction - Lawrence E. SullivanPart One: Central America1. Aztec Religion: Sacred Cities, Sacred Actions -David Carrasco2. Indigenous Mythology from Present-day Mexico -Alfredo López Austin3. Ritual and Myth in Tlapanec Life -Peter L. van der Loo4. Sacred Forces of the Mayan Universe -Mercedes de la GarzaPart Two: South America5. The World and Its End: Cosmologies and Eschatologies of South American Indians -Lawrence E. Sullivan6. Contemporary Indigenous Religious Life in Peru -Juan M. Ossio Acuña7. The Baniwa -Robin M. Wright8. Inca Religion: Its Foundations in the Central Andean Context -R. Tom Zuidema9. The Religion of the Chamacoco (Ishir) Indians -Edgardo Jorge Cordeu10. The Sacred as Alienated Social Consciousness: Ritual and Cosmology among the Kayapo - Terence Turner11. Fragments of Southern Tehuilche Religiosity and Myths -Alejandra SiffrediContributorsIndex

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)