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RLG Reading Notes-Derry.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Kenneth Derry

RLG Reading Notes Derry DefinitionsReligionReligion Focuses on beliefs experiences and practices of specific communities with respect to nonfalsifiable realities Dealing with religion when we step outside of material reality to address questions of spirit meaning or divinity Religion and science may overlap IndigenousIndigenous understood to mean original to the land Some cultures that are considered to be Indigenous recognize supreme being some recognize a variety of deities and some dont bother to think about these things Indigenous kinship and location to belong to a community that is defined to its members genealogical relations to one another and its connections to a particular place Synonym Aboriginal Putting both terms together Indigenous Religion beliefs experiences and practices concerning nonfalsifiable realities of peoples who a identify themselves as Indigenous and b reply on kinship and location to define their place in the world Change and SyncretismIndigenous religions no longer exist but certain traditions still followed Syncretism the merging of elements from different religionsUs and ThemThe people who have control of your stories control of your voice also have control of your destiny your culture Colonialism most of what people know or think they know about Indigenous cultures that come from nonIndigenous cultures Main concern tend to have significant social and political influence Vine Deloria explained the social ills plaguing the Oglala community ignored the real issue white control of reservation and theorized that people were simply were warriors without weapons The Oglala incapable of adapting to a marketeconomy lifestyle because deep in their souls they remained violently primitive Main objection outsiders lack the insider knowledge and insight required to speak with authority about particular community culture or tradition Important problem of Indigenous work tends to reinforce idea that they are different from us Study of Indigenous religions has produced terms and concepts animism fetish mana myth shaman taboo totem It is important not to perpetuate the notion that Indigenous religions are of different order from non indigenous religionsRLG Reading Notes Derry Primitives and the Problem of HistoryI am almost always informed that tribal people represent an earlier stage of human accomplishment and that we can learn about our past by studying the way existing tribal people live Only anthropologist studied Aboriginal people because historians assumed there was no Aboriginal history to look at The Englightment was age of exploration during which reports were regularly sent back to Europe describing encounters with previously unknown culturescultures that were primarily oral in nature Primitive meaning first in LatinMajority of Europeans at time of contact were Christians who believed both in the superiority of their culture and in divine imperative to spread their religion to those who had not yet head the gospel Indigenous cultures were seen as ideal recipients of the Word of God blank slates with no real history Evidence shows that Indigenous peoples had dynamic eventful histories before they were discovered Persistent notion that Indigenous cultures are primitive is the tendency to think of them as non literate First writing not inherently more advanced than orality Second many Indigenous cultures did use a form of werent before contact with non Indigenous peopleThird the simple fact is that the vast majority of the contemporary Indigenous cultures are fully literate to ignore fact is to continue to think of these cultures only in past tense Indigenous people as private is the belief that they do not distinguish between the religious and non religious aspects of their lives Indigenous cultures are no less able than non Indigenous ones to form distinctions in relation to category of religion Many nonIndigenous scholars have come to realize that indigenous culture were and are just as complex and innovative as their own and that the idea of the primate says must more about the person who holds it that the people it is applied to Helps explain why literary scholars often ignore modern indigenous writers while anthropologists continue to pore over transcriptions of ancient talesColonialism Refers both to process in which people form one place establish and maintain a settlement in another and to the effects of this process on any people who were already thereThose effects include their subjugation if not removal and imposition of new laws economies and social practices that are controlled by and often modeled on those of the colonists home territorythth Enormous amount of colonial activity between 15 20 centuries when western Europeans were exploring parts of the worldWestern Europe was relatively significant region in terms of global influence
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