Religion and Hopi Life in the Twentieth Century

John D. Loftin
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 03/22/1991
ISBN: 978-0-253-11432-7
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This not only is an excellent introduction to Hopi religion and culture change; it should be considered as a text for any course concerned with Native Americans in the twentieth century." —American Indian Culture and Research Journal

An important addition to the literature on Native American religions." —Choice

In this exploration of twentieth-century Hopi religious history and cultural change, John D. Loftin focuses on the interplay between Hopi myth and history, timelessness and the experience of time, continuity and change. His use of a historical-analytical framework, incorporating the Hopi understanding of myth and prophecy, provides a model of religious change which shows how a Native American people draws on its ancient religious beliefs and practices to come to terms with domination by an alien, Western culture and lifestyle.

John d. Loftin looks at the Hopi's timeless merging of the sacred and the profane as a student of religion, not as an anthropologist or New Age popularizer. Examining the tension between the Hopi's traditional, mythical religious orientation and the profound historical changes that the twentieth-century Hopi have witnessed, he shows how Hopi prophecies help the Hopi cope with the contemporary erosions of their culture by making sacred the very process of religious decline. In its exploration of the practical dimensions of that prophetic stance, Loftin's work is a model of a new kind of Native American study. Here, the Hopi emerge as equal partners in an unequal cultural exchange, as survivors who move creatively amid cultural assault and who change assault into the raw material of accommodation.

Author Bio

JOHN D. LOFTIN is a lawyer and teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Table of Contents


Part I. Work and Ritual

One A Religious Practicality
Two A Sacred Society
Three The Utility of Prayer

Part II. Dominance and Religion

Four Contact and Change
Five Compartmentalization and Prophecy
Six Sacred and Human

Annotated Bibliography
Index of Hopi Terms
Subject and Name Index