Encounters of the Spirit

Encounters of the Spirit

Native Americans and European Colonial Religion
Richard W. Pointer
Distribution: World
Publication date: 09/28/2007
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-34912-5
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Historians have long been aware that the encounter with Europeans affected all aspects of Native American life. But were Indians the only ones changed by these cross-cultural meetings? Might the newcomers' ways, including their religious beliefs and practices, have also been altered amid their myriad contacts with native peoples? In Encounters of the Spirit, Richard W. Pointer takes up these intriguing questions in an innovative study of the religious encounter between Indians and Euro-Americans in early America. Exploring a series of episodes across the three centuries of the colonial era and stretching from New Spain to New France and the English settlements, he finds that the flow of cultural influence was more often reciprocal than unidirectional.

Author Bio

Richard W. Pointer is Professor of History and Fletcher Jones Chair in Social Science at Westmont College. He is author of Protestant Pluralism and the New York Experience: A Study of Eighteenth-Century Religious Diversity (IUP, 1988).

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Table of Contents


1. The Sounds of Worship
2. A Language of Imitation
3. A Scene of New Ideas
4. "Poor Indians" and the "Poor in Spirit"
5. Martyrs, Healers, and Statesmen
6. Encountering Death


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