Wednesday, November 18, 2009
"God Is Red" (Vine Deloria, Jr.) review for Alibris.com
...for anyone studying indigeny, energetics, indigenous spirituality, christianity, European religious history, culture, philosophy. This is a fundamental work in understanding the relationship of Native American/indigenous spirituality and religious concepts and their relationship to european christianity and the peoples that carried these two traditions. Deloria makes a clear and concise case for the reevaluation of the efficacy and function of christianity outside of its cultural space and in all of the geographic and cultural spaces it has been forced into. Christianity, in Deloria's critique, clearly becomes a brickish template slammed down upon the more culturally congruent and functional spiritual and religious concepts and practices that were created and practiced by Native Americans on Turtle Island (north America) as opposed to the avenue of ultimate salvation that christians have characterized it as. Deloria shows this to not only be fraudulent, but impossible because of the very nature of spiritual/religious creation by humans in time and space. "God Is Red" is a valiant representation of spirituality /religion as a functional, organic cultural production and relationship with Spirit, not merely a dogmatic exercise and tool for socio-political, psycho-sexual and imperial control.
Deloria's calcuation of the culturally divergent conceptions and uses of space and time shine forth as academic genius from his pages. This is key to his thesis.
If "God Is Red" is not on your reading list, your understanding of indigenous spirituality and religion may not be complete. It should be read in every christian seminary, school and missionary headquarters. If christian missionaries and developers of missiology would understand (largely a matter of openness and choice, not intelligence, of course), embrace and live the truths of Deloria's work in this text, mission work and other forms of proselytizing would cease for the betterment of all those whose cultures have been and are still yet to be depowered and destroyed by the unGodly superimpositiion of christian concepts and practices upon people's for whom these displaced and contentious ideas and lifeways were never meant.