Vancouver School of Theology

Forming thoughtful, engaged and generous Christian leaders for the church in the 21st century


NMC – SPX101 North American Indigenous Spirituality

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July 11 – 15 | 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley, United Keetoowah Band Cherokee; Distinguished Professor of Faith and Culture and Director of Indigenous and Intercultural Studies at George Fox Seminary and co-founder, Eagle’s Wings Ministry, and founding board member of NAIITS (North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies).

One of the unfortunate outcomes of colonization in America was the suppression of Indigenous American spirituality and religion. Indigenous American spirituality has been mischaracterized in various ways, including being represented as polytheistic, nature-worshiping and “spooky.” This course is an examination of Indigenous American spirituality and seeks to provide an alternative paradigm to Western Christian spiritualities by creating opportunities to gain perspective through participation in Indigenous American spiritual exercises and discussions. The values associated with the Indigenous American harmony concept will be explored along with an understanding of Indigenous American theologies of the land. Contributive learners will be challenged to incorporate these values and theologies into their own authentic North American, Christ-centered spirituality. Since most contact between Christians and First Nations people came/and comes through missionary contact, an Indigenous American holistic view of creation will be compared to what is often characterized as Western cultural dualism that resulted in the missionary system’s rejection of all religiously significant Indigenous practices and cultural artifacts.

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