Chapter 20. Native American Religious Traditions

A Sociological Approach

  1. Bryan s. Turner Professor leader Director member Fellow
  1. Dennis F. Kelley Assistant Professor member

Published Online: 1 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444320787.ch20

The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion

The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion

How to Cite

Kelley, D. F. (2010) Native American Religious Traditions, in The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion (ed B. s. Turner), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444320787.ch20

Editor Information

  1. Wellesley College USA

Author Information

  1. University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 9 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188524

Online ISBN: 9781444320787



  • Native American religious traditions - a sociological approach;
  • study of multitude of distinct American Indian sacred practices - juxtaposed against the lived worldview;
  • American Indian Movement (AIM);
  • native populations - decimated by diseases carried by European colonists;
  • anthropological views, guided by (relatively) new Darwinian philosophy;
  • academic study of American Indian religious traditions - a mode of study scientific in its methodology;
  • significance of sociology;
  • concept “place” connoting a location in geographic terms;
  • sacred nature of place in indigenous religious systems


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Beginnings

  • The Significance of Sociology

  • Locale

  • Sacred Power

  • Protocol

  • Conclusion

  • Bibliography