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About the Book

Beyond the Book

344 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 2 maps, notes, index

Native Americans, Christianity, and the Reshaping of the American Religious Landscape

In this interdisciplinary collection of essays, Joel W. Martin and Mark A. Nicholas gather emerging and leading voices in the study of Native American religion to reconsider the complex and often misunderstood history of Native peoples' engagement with Christianity and with Euro-American missionaries. Surveying mission encounters from contact through the mid-nineteenth century, the volume alters and enriches our understanding of both American Christianity and indigenous religion.

The essays here explore a variety of postcontact identities, including indigenous Christians, "mission friendly" non-Christians, and ex-Christians, thereby exploring the shifting world of Native-white cultural and religious exchange. Rather than questioning the authenticity of Native Christian experiences, these scholars reveal how indigenous peoples negotiated change with regard to missions, missionaries, and Christianity. This collection challenges the pervasive stereotype of Native Americans as culturally static and ill-equipped to navigate the roiling currents associated with colonialism and missionization.

The contributors are Emma Anderson, Joanna Brooks, Steven W. Hackel, Tracy Neal Leavelle, Daniel Mandell, Joel W. Martin, Michael D. McNally, Mark A. Nicholas, Michelene Pesantubbee, David J. Silverman, Laura M. Stevens, Rachel Wheeler, Douglas L. Winiarski, and Hilary E. Wyss.

About the Author

Joel W. Martin is Vice Provost for Academic Personnel, Dean of the Faculty, and Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of Sacred Revolt and The Land Looks After Us. Mark A. Nicholas is visiting assistant professor of history at Northern Illinois University.

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