Alternative Title

Finding God on The Indian Road: Exploring the Intersectionality Between Native American and Christian Spiritual Living

Abstract

Drawing on the long and arduous history between the Indigenous people of the United States and the Christian church that colonists brought to them, this project works to address the harmful relationship of the past to establish a foundation for moving forward in a spirit of respect and reverence for Native American spiritual practices that have much to offer the Christian world of spiritual living. For centuries these two deeply spiritual worlds were told that they could not and would not co-exist. This project then draws deep attention to ways Native American spiritual practices have been misappropriated and trivialized over the years through a lack of reverence and appreciation. The project then moves into a deeper understanding of a “Native” mindset as well as spirituality itself before it concludes with tangible ways of living more spiritually in the spirit of traditional practices of Native American peoples.

The goals of this project are twofold per audience. For the non-Native community, the goal is to teach and to lend. Deeper knowledge of a more accurate historical account and actual harms that have been done to Indian people over the centuries is an area often misunderstood and unrealized in non-Native communities. From this place, a deeper sense of respect and appreciation can emerge that embraces the truest essence of Native American spirituality deeply and reverently. The project also works to offer non-Natives a new way of living spiritually that draws on the fundamental nature of Indian spiritual practices and ways of living that give way to a new spiritual path within the Christian community. The second is the Native American community. This work offers a new sense of hope and a new beginning for Natives that continue to struggle with the voices of the past telling them that they can’t be fully Native and fully Christian at the same time. The work offers the possible reality that these two worlds very much can and should co-exist, and it is a good and joyful thing for Indigenous peoples to begin to explore where their cultures and faith intersect.

Degree Date

2022

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

D.Min.

Advisor

Dr. Ruben Habito

Second Advisor

Dr. Hugo Magallanes

Third Advisor

Rev. David Wilson

Fourth Advisor

Genie McKee

Subject Area

Religion, Theology/Religious Education

Number of Pages

155

Format

.pdf

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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