Predominantcategories of Native American religions in today`s America
Religionis very essential in every society. Religious beliefs vary from onesociety to the other. For the Native Americans, the religion iscategorized in four predominant categories. They include: tribaltraditions Native American Christianity New religious forms alsoknown as Peyote religion and Indian Spirituality.
Tribaltraditions Under this category, the Native Americansperceive their traditions to the extent that they are a whollycommunity. The religion is community based and lacks no actualmeaning of outside of a particular community whose acts are performedon a regular basis, stories told, and songs sung, and conductingceremonies. In the past, several tribal religious practices wereknotted to specific sites that had strong spiritual and holy meaning(Neusner,2009).The same happens today in the sense that it is difficult to resistthe mixture of the larger culture where members of the tribe arestill in close conduct with one another.
NativeAmerican Christianity Today, throughout America, there areNative American communities that are primarily Christians. Thesepeople have little or no practice of tribal traditions. Even thoughAmericans who are of the European ancestry introduced Christianity toNative Americans, the clergy and leaders of the religion who areNative Americans have taken over the leadership of the churches inthese communities. The religion gives freedom from being the objectsnot only of doing missions, but also scrutiny in terms of academics(Neusner,2009).
PeyoteReligion Peyote, which is a small hallucinogenic cactus,has long been employed in ritual in the cultures of the NativeAmericans. Unlike the Native American Christianity, New religiousforms were not introduced by the Europeans. The religion normallyholds meets which begin at sundown till dawn occasionally. Thesemeetings are held for specific purposes for instance if a member issick, to celebrate a special occasion and even the preparation of astudent for school examination (Neusner,2009).Whereas members may experience visions, the main purpose of thereligion is to increase concentration and the sense of community.
IndianSpirituality This religion has been associated with therise of the print media. The religion has served as a mediatorbetween the mainstream American culture and tribal cultures. Themainstream American culture use print as the primary access to othercultures while the tribal cultures use oral exclusively. The religionencourages the connection of tribal civilizations, but more so theapproval of a mutual Indian Identity. One of the practices that areencouraged is the continuity and revitalization of the rituals oftribal traditions as well as stories (Neusner,2009).
Conclusion Thispaper has described the four predominant categories of NativeAmerican religions. The four include tribal traditions, NativeAmerican Christianity, Peyote religion and Indian spirituality.
Neusner,J. (2009). Worldreligions in America: An introduction.Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press.