Quest for Harmony: Native American Spiritual Traditions

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Seven Bridges Press, 2002 - Social Science - 420 pages
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If there were an "endangered religions list" the spiritual traditions of Native American nations would be on it. Fortunately, as "Quest for Harmony" makes very clear, not only are Native American spiritual traditions still very much alive, they are in the midst of a dramatic revival. The four nations on which this richly descriptive and fascinating book focuses---the Lenape (Delaware), Anm-yunm-wiya (Cherokee), Lakota (Sioux), and Dini (Navajo)---bear witness to the reality of Native American culture and its spiritual renewal and continuity amidst change. Each nation's traditional location and present population, the language, and social organization are described. At least one of the stories of origins of the people is presented. A historical survey of the nation, from the earliest documented times until recent decades is also included. The heart of each presentation is an introduction to the nation's spiritual worldview and rituals, including cosmology, and gods and spirits. Quest for Harmony is intended for anyone seeking a basic understanding of the cultures and spiritual teachings of Native American nations. It is sympathetic and respectful, presenting the views of Native Americans in their own voice wherever possible. Critical issues common to Native Americas such as the Pannational spiritual movements and the environment are also covered.

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Establishing a Context
The Spiritual Traditions
Keeping the Eternal Fire Burning

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About the author (2002)

William A. Young is professor of religious studies at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

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