Written by Vine Deloria and edited by James Treat, this book is considered to be one of the most crucial treatises on Native American history. It is an amalgamation of more than thirty years of study and…
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The book, in many ways, is a summary of the author’s journey of three decades as an author, an educator and social activist. The dominant themes of the essays featuring in this collection are the red power, the white church, the contradictory worldviews, liberating theology, practices of the state and ancient conventions relevant in the modern world. The author was of the view that the Native American style of life was reliant mainly on visions, whereas the life of the whites was centred chiefly on ideas. The same point of view is upheld in the essays in ‘For This Land’.
Deloria, in this book, covers a wide variety of topics relating to religion and spirituality, which range from the protest movement of the Indians to the violation of agreements with the tribal communities in the US. He also talks about the immense struggle put forward by the Indians for the sake of preserving their holy sites and gaining access to the same on their traditional occasions. The author does not deter from mentioning even some seriously controversial issues concerning the federal agencies, museums and curio shops in the US. He candidly reveals issues such as the withholding of the human remnants and funeral offerings of American Indians.
The focus of the essays in this book is on the religious facets and associations we find in the lives of human beings. Apparently his writing seems to be distant from ideological contexts and verging entirely on the theoretical framework of physical space. But as the thoughts progress, we realise that the author has been successful in involving our intellectual faculties by insinuating us to rethink our beliefs. He questions our established religious institutions and experiences, reveals all kinds of controversies that have engulfed those and compels us to ponder over our deep-rooted beliefs.
‘For This Land’ is a masterpiece from one of the foremost critics of American history. It presents a unique
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