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Book: Indigenous Religious Traditions in Five Minutes

Chapter: 8. Why is "religion" a problematic category for understanding Indigenous traditions?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43123


Since first contact, “religion” has been used as a weapon against Indigenous Peoples. In the 15th century, Papal Bulls mandated that Christian Discoverers seize non-Christian bodies, lands, and property. The Doctrines of Christian Discovery (DoCD) is the religious foundation upon which Christian supremacy was established to justify the taking of land. Columbus’ voyages ushered forth the “Age of Discovery” and legitimized horrendous acts of violence, as the means to establishing a New World order.

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