Sacred Earth: The Spiritual Landscape of Native America

Overview

This eye-opening journey through the terrain of Native American spirituality contrasts contemporary society's rejection of the sacred—and its arrogant belief in its own power to control the cosmos—with native traditions of reverence for the earth. The author reconstructs the archetypal and symbolic significance of indigenous rituals and sacred sites, placing Native American spirituality in the context of the world's great religions. The comparison illustrates the richness and universality of the native approach ...

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Overview

This eye-opening journey through the terrain of Native American spirituality contrasts contemporary society's rejection of the sacred—and its arrogant belief in its own power to control the cosmos—with native traditions of reverence for the earth. The author reconstructs the archetypal and symbolic significance of indigenous rituals and sacred sites, placing Native American spirituality in the context of the world's great religions. The comparison illustrates the richness and universality of the native approach to the earth as a cherished being and reveals the poverty of our present-day attitudes toward the natural environment and its living creatures. This book is an urgent call to rediscover and become firmly grounded on the sacred earth again.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Versluis, editor of Avaloka: A Journal of Traditional Religion and Culture, offers a much-needed understanding of Native American religion. Through discussion of how the religions of Native Americans compare with traditional religions, he finds ground for a common spirituality. While contemporary society emphasizes ecology, Versluis points out that Native Americans always had a love and respect for the environment and a recognition of the spiritual qualities of nature. This book may prove a bit difficult for lay readers, yet it is necessary reading for those seeking a greater understanding of Native American spirituality. For Native American and religion collections.
Library Journal
Through discussion of how the religions of Native Americans compare to traditional religions, Versluis finds ground for a common spirituality. Necessary reading for a greater understanding of Native American spirituality.
Library Journal
Versluis, editor of Avaloka: A Journal of Traditional Religion and Culture , offers a much-needed understanding of Native American religion. Through discussion of how the religions of Native Americans compare with traditional religions, he finds ground for a common spirituality. While contemporary society emphasizes ecology, Versluis points out that Native Americans always had a love and respect for the environment and a recognition of the spiritual qualities of nature. This book may prove a bit difficult for lay readers, yet it is necessary reading for those seeking a greater understanding of Native American spirituality. For Native American and religion collections.-- James F. Wood Sr., Hillsborough Community Coll. Lib., Tampa, Fla.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892813520
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Publication date: 6/28/1992
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 682,874
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Versluis is Professor of American Thought and Language at Michigan State University and the author of many books, including Wisdom's Children: A Christian Esoteric Tradition, also published by SUNY Press. He is also the editor of the journal Esoterica.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Part I.  Foundations
1.   Nature as Theophany
2.   Wakan, Orenda, Manitou
3.   Timelessness and Time
4.   Totemic Revelations
5.   Sacred Man and the Great Mystery

Part II.  Spiritual Symbolism
Introduction
1.   Inscriptions in Stone
2.   The Great Horned Serpent
3.   The Stone Man
4.   The Great Lodge as Microcosmos
5.   Initiation and Its Inversions

Part III.  Spiritual Landscape
Introduction
1.   Language of the Earth, Language of the Sky
2.   Celestial Agriculture, Celestial Journey
3.   Spiritual Landscape
4.   Mountains and Fire, Winds and Waters
5.   The Council Fire
6.   The Songs of Solitude and Silence

Conclusion

Appendix
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2006

    sacred life

    This book provides a spiritual understanding for everything sacred to Native Americans and also an understanding of the abuse of many sacred landscapes today. This book reads very peacefully

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2002

    Ever wondered?

    Ever wondered what makes a rock, a lake or a tree sacred to native people? This book provided the answers. It was educational and revealing with excellant references and notes. I used this book in a research project and was not disappointed, and have recommended this book to friends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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