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June 19 , 2007

Indigenous Symbols and Practices in the Catholic Church

Visual Culture, Missionization and Appropriation


Indigenous Symbols and Practices in the Catholic Church presents views, concepts and perspectives on the relationships among Indigenous Peoples and the Catholic Church, as well as stories, images and art as metaphors for survival in a contemporary world.

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Few studies present such interdisciplinary interpretations from contributors in multiple disciplines regarding appropriation, spiritual and religious tradition, educational issues in the teaching of art and art history, the effects of government sanctions on traditional practice, or the artistic interpretation of symbols from Indigenous perspectives.

Through photographs and visual materials, interviews and data analysis, personal narratives and stories, these chapters explore the experiences of Indigenous Peoples whose lives have been impacted by multiple forces – Christian missionaries, governmental policies, immigration and colonization, education, assimilation and acculturation. Contributors investigate current contexts and complex areas of conflict regarding missionization, appropriation and colonizing practices through asking questions such as, 'What does the use of images mean for resistance, transformation and cultural destruction?' And, 'What new interpretations and perspectives are necessary for Indigenous traditions to survive and flourish in the future?'

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