Orientations and Memory about the American West and Religion

26 Mar

Brandi Denison has a wonderful post about how and why the West needs to be a part of the metanarrative of American religion. Here’s a piece of her reflections:

What does an orientation towards the American West illuminate? The thing about religion in the American West is that it is not somehow specific or even unique to that place. After all, there are landscapes that are similar to the American West throughout the world. Mongolia has expansive deserts and Nepal even more impressive mountains than the American West. Other places have as much religious diversity and a similar history of colonialization. One thing that an orientation to the West does is disrupt the grade school narrative of American Religious history.  It also calls attention to other issues and frameworks that can prove useful in other settings outside of the American West. It’s not just about Indians, Catholics, and Mormons, but also about city-building, utopian dreams, court battles defining religion, the desire to find freedom, cultural reappropriation, land, both as sacred place and ownership over, difference, diversity, and identity crises.

I say, Amen! (Also, take a look at some of the pdfs of articles by me on Western Protestantism that I’ve placed on my Miscellaneous page of my blog site.)

You can read Denison’s entire reflection at Religion in the American West here: Religion in the American West: Orientations and Memory.

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One Response to “Orientations and Memory about the American West and Religion”

  1. Douglas Firth Anderson March 26, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    Reblogged this on Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies.

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