Essay about Traditional Iroquois And Christian Religious Ideas

Essay about Traditional Iroquois And Christian Religious Ideas

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Before the arrival of Europeans on the American continents, a wide variety of Indigenous tribes inhabited the land. Those tribes formed alliances, made war, studied, migrated, and worshipped for generations before Europeans began recording their histories. When the Europeans arrived on scene they had conquest in their hearts as they plundered tribal stores and lands for wealth, all while attempting to rescue the locals from the perceived threat of eternal damnation. However, the tribes of the Americas, like Indigenous tribes in other parts of the world, had their own faith systems. In some areas of the New World, Europeans successfully outlawed native faiths and imposed one or another version of Christianity on the local tribes, but in other places, flexible tribal faiths bound together and successfully resisted the European religious force. The consolidation of traditional Iroquois and Christian religious ideas as expressed by the modern Longhouse faith serves as evidence of the inclusivity and adaptability of this Native American faith; thus proving that adaptability lends staying power to minority ideas in the face of strict exclusionary practices of a more numerous, expanding, and powerful religious population. An examination of two Iroquois origin stories shows the adaptability and inclusivity of the Longhouse religion, while other texts examined herein show inclusion and exclusion of Christian ideals in the Longhouse religion.
The exclusivity of monotheism is strongest in the Abrahamic faiths. Catholics and Protestants that migrated to the Americas, in search of gold, souls, or freedom from religious persecution believed that their deity was the only true God. In the old testament the one Christian God explains that “only ...


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...s. The inherent divinity of a spring, or a guardian serpent was seen as pagan idolatry, or at the very least, superstition, by the increasing numbers of European-Americans. The Christian faith allows for only one foci of worship whereas the various Iroquois faiths saw enough room for reverence of all life and worship of many things which European-Americans classify as inert. The Longhouse religion is a hybrid faith, that somehow finds a balance between the Native faiths that revered every geographical feature and animal as a divine manifestation, and the Anglo-Christian faiths that saw nothing but a distant creator as divine. The exchange between President Jefferson and Handsome Lake demonstrates the inclusion of Christian themes (his stance against alcoholism or drunkenness) as well as the resistance to Christian property doctrines present in the Longhouse religion.

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