Vancouver School of Theology

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


THX1/503 – The Doctrine of Discovery

July 8th-12th
9am-12pm (all) & 2pm-5pm (M.Div only)

This course is an exploration of the religious and secular manifestations of a doctrine known as the Doctrine of Discovery, beginning with papal bulls and coming to the 21st century.  Students will explore the theological underpinnings of the doctrine, and follow the doctrine as Christianity made its way into Indigenous territory, and the ways it has manifested in government policies on Indigenous peoples in Canada and the US.

June L. Lorenzo, Laguna Pueblo/Navajo (Dine), J.D. and PhD, advocates in tribal and domestic courts, as well as before legislative and international human rights bodies, and has worked on issues of Native American ministry and racial justice in the Presbyterian Church (USA).  In 2016 she authored a PCUSA report on the Doctrine of Discovery as the denomination voted to repudiate the doctrine. She works with community organizations and Indigenous NGOs to address uranium mining legacy issues and resistance to new mining, sacred landscape protection, and recently on issues of repatriation of cultural patrimony.  She holds a PhD in Justice Studies from Arizona State University and a Juris Doctor from Cornell University.

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