Teaching Spirits: Understanding Native American Religious Traditions

Teaching Spirits: Understanding Native American Religious Traditions

NOOK Book(eBook)

$16.49 $19.99 Save 18% Current price is $16.49, Original price is $19.99. You Save 18%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
Want a NOOK ? Explore Now

Overview

Teaching Spirits: Understanding Native American Religious Traditions by Joseph Epes Brown

Teaching Spirits offers a thematic approach to Native American religious traditions. Through years of living with and learning about Native traditions across the continent, Joseph Epes Brown learned firsthand of the great diversity of the North American Indian cultures. Yet within this great multiplicity, he also noticed certain common themes that resonate within many Native traditions. These themes include a shared sense of time as cyclical rather than linear, a belief that landscapes are inhabited by spirits, a rich oral tradition, visual arts that emphasize the process of creation, a reciprocal relationship with the natural world, and the rituals that tie these themes together. Brown illustrates each of these themes with in-depth explorations of specific native cultures including Lakota, Navajo, Apache, Koyukon, and Ojibwe. Brown was one of the first scholars to recognize that Native religions-rather than being relics of the past-are vital traditions that tribal members shape and adapt to meet both timeless and contemporary needs. Teaching Spirits reflects this view, using examples from the present as well as the past. For instance, when writing about Plains rituals, he describes not only building an impromptu sweat lodge in a Denver hotel room with Black Elk in the 1940s, but also the struggles of present-day Crow tribal members to balance Sun Dances and vision quests with nine-to-five jobs. In this groundbreaking work, Brown suggests that Native American traditions demonstrate how all components of a culture can be interconnected-how the presence of the sacred can permeate all lifeways to such a degree that what we call religion is integrated into all of life's activities. Throughout the book, Brown draws on his extensive personal experience with Black Elk, who came to symbolize for many the richness of the imperiled native cultures. This volume brings to life the themes that resonate at the heart of Native American religious traditions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199890040
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 03/12/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

The late Joseph Epes Brown was a professor of Religious Studies at the University of Montana. A renowned author in the fields of Native American Traditions and World Religions, Brown was one of the founders of Native American Studies and was largely responsible for bringing the study of Native American religious traditions into American higher education. His publications include The Sacred Pipe (1953), Animals of the Soul (1992), and The Spiritual Legacy of the American Indian (1982). Emily Cousins, a writer and editor, received a degree in Religious Studies and Art History from Harvard University. She coedited the new edition of Brown's Animals of the Soul and the forthcoming Honor Song, an anthology compiled in honor of Brown's work.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews