Native Americans and Christianity

REL730
Spring 2018
TTh 9:00-10:20am
MDIV Requirements: 
Diversity
Professor: 
Permission Not Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course examines the complex and often painful history of American Indian encounters with Christianity in colonial North America and the United States. Moving from the early colonial period to the present, and with particular attention to Native American voices, we will explore a variety of indigenous responses to Catholic and Protestant missions and the development of distinctively Native Christian traditions. Along the way we will interrogate and historicize key trends in the study of indigenous Christianity, including Red-Power era critiques of missions, the influence of postcolonial theory, and the recent emphasis on indigenous Christian agency. This semester the class will be privileged to host several different guest speakers from Native American communities.

Course objectives: For students to build critical awareness of the historical intersections of colonialism and Christianity; apply postcolonial frameworks to understand the role of Christianity in indigenous communities; and develop skills in historical analysis.

Background Expected: 

No specific background is required.

Course Requirements: 

Approx. 200pp of reading/week, seminar discussions, weekly online forum, and two 8-10 page papers.

Basis of Evaluation: 

Participation- 10%; online forum- 20%; and two papers each at 35% of the total course grade.