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The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America (Hardback)
  • The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America (Hardback)
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The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America (Hardback)

(author)
£26.49
Hardback 312 Pages / Published: 14/06/2012
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This book tells the gripping story of American Indians' attempts to wrestle with the ongoing realities of colonialism between the 1670s and 1820. Using religion as a primary lens, this book explores the complex and interesting world of eighteenth-century southern New England co-created by Indians and colonists. By tracing the religious and cultural engagement of American Indians in Connecticut, Rhode Island, western Massachusetts, and Long Island, New York, this narrative pulls back the curtain on the often overlooked, dynamic interactions between Natives and whites in this time period. Far from passively sliding into the cultural and physical landscape after King Philip's War, Native individuals and communities actively tapped into transatlantic structures of power to protect their land rights, welcomed educational opportunities for their children, and even joined local white churches during the First Great Awakening (1740s). Religion repeatedly stood at the center of these points of cultural engagement, often in hotly contested ways. Although these Native groups had successfully resisted evangelization in the seventeenth century, by the eighteenth century they showed an increasing interest in education and religion. Their sporadic participation in the First Great Awakening marked a continuation of prior forms of cultural engagement. More surprisingly, however, in the decades after the Awakening, Native individuals and sub-groups asserted their religious and cultural autonomy to even greater degrees by leaving English churches and forming their own Indian Separate churches. In the realm of education, too, Native increasingly took control, preferring local reservation schools and demanding Indian teachers whenever possible. In the 1780s, two small group of Christian Indians moved to New York and founded new Christian Indian settlements, called Brothertown and New Stockbridge. But the majority of New England Natives-even those who affiliated with Christianity-chose to remain in New England, continuing to assert their own autonomous existence through leasing land, farming, and working on and off the reservations.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780199740048
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 550 g
Dimensions: 242 x 164 x 26 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
The history of religious engagement and the spectrum of religious responses presented in The Indian Great Awakening suggest a way to explore Native American perseverance and actions during a period of American history where Indian actors have largely been omitted. Fisher offers evidence of Native presence and elucidates public contestations over Native rights and religions, highlighting the exclusion of Native Americans from earlier national histories. It is my hope that his re-engagement with the history of the Great Awakening from the perspective of Native Americans will serve as an inspiring model and challenge other contemporary scholars to address similar oversights in the historical record. * Michael Gueno, Marginalia Review of Books *
Thoroughly researched, clearly written, and convincingly argued. ... This book helps us to see more clearly a host of vital dimensions of Native religious engagement with Christianity including the Indian impulses to decide for themselves if how, when, where, and why the claims of Christ would bear on their lives, to control if possible the churches and schools they frequented, and to maintain substantial elements of their cultural heritage when they chose to make Christianity their own. Together those points underscore Native agency, hopes for cultural sovereignty, and quests for community survival, all themes well worth further consideration as other scholars continue to explore the history of Indian Christianization in early America. * Richard W. Pointer, Fides et Historia *
A fine exemplar of the maturation of the 'new Indian history,' which places Native peoples at the center of the American past. * Nick Griffiths, William and Mary Quarterly *
The Indian Great Awakening reminds us that religious engagement is both complex and personal. By examining the varied lived experiences of many Native Americans throughout southeastern New England, Fisher has reshaped our understanding of the ways in which these complex people navigated the intersections of race and religion in early America, showing clearly that their varied awakenings are no interpretive ficitions. * Common-Place *
Fisher presents significantly more sophisticated interpretations of religious change that emphasize process, contingency, and lived experience over simple notions of conversion. * Tracy Neal Leavelle, Early American Literature *
Rethinking the Scottish Revolution is a detailed and accomplished account of the complex governance of Scotland, and is an invaluable addition to the historiography of the 17th century. * Charlotte Young, Parliamentary History *

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