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Native Americans, Christianity, and the Reshaping of the American Religious Landscape$
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Joel W. Martin and Mark A. Nicholas

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834060

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807899663_martin

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Print Culture and the Power of Native Literacy in California and New England Missions

Print Culture and the Power of Native Literacy in California and New England Missions

Chapter:
(p.201) Print Culture and the Power of Native Literacy in California and New England Missions
Source:
Native Americans, Christianity, and the Reshaping of the American Religious Landscape
Author(s):

Steven W. Hackel

Hilary E. Wyss

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807899663_martin.13

This chapter discusses the distinction made between Protestant and Catholic forms of evangelization, especially in terms of missionary work. Certainly there is a great deal to be said about the different strategies members of each religious group employed to reach prospective Indian converts, most specifically in terms of the relationship between literacy and religion. Protestantism, which emphasized an individual's direct reading of the Bible, encouraged high rates of literacy; Catholicism, in which priests generally interpreted the Bible for parishioners, did not. Nonetheless, surprising similarities emerge where conventional wisdom had suggested there were only differences. Both Catholic and Protestant missions involved some literacy training for Indians, and those Natives who acquired this training—often in concert with culturally devastating practices—in fact put this training to a broad variety of uses.

Keywords:   missions, literacy training, evangelization, missionary work, Indian converts, Protestantism

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