Augsburg Fortress

Spirit and Resistance: Political Theology and American Indian Liberation

Spirit and Resistance: Political Theology and American Indian Liberation

Writing from a Native American perspective, theologian George Tinker probes American Indian culture, its vast religious and cultural legacy, and its ambiguous relationship to the tradition—historic Christianity—that colonized and converted it.

After five hundred years of conquest and social destruction, he says, any useful reflection must come to terms with the political state of Indian affairs and the political hopes and visions for recovering the health and well-being of Indian communities. Does Christian theology have a positive role to play?

Tinker's work offers an overview of contemporary native American culture and its perilous state. Critical of recent liberal and New Age co-opting of Native spiritual practices, Tinker also offers a critical corrective to liberation theology. He shows how Native insights into the Sacred Other and sacred space helpfully reconfigure traditional ideas of God, Jesus' notion of the reign of God, and our relation to the earth. From this basis he offers novel proposals about cultural survival and identity, sustainability, and the endangered health of Native Americans.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800636814
  • Dimensions 5 x 8
  • Pages 160
  • Publication Date September 15, 2004


"George Tinker is the long-awaited intellectual voice of the indigenous peoples of this Turtle Island. He speaks with the gift of immense wisdom and respect for the people's spirit and of the humble and interdependent place they occupy on the sacred earth circle."
— Henrietta Mann, Professor Emeritus of Native American Studies, Montana State University—Bozeman

"Tinker is a mature intellectual force to reckon with, and his new book reflects it. Solidly researched, closely but eloquently argued, and extraordinarily effective, Spirit and Resistance is must reading for anyone concerned with the relationship between indigenous and Christian traditions in the Americas."
— Ward Churchill, author of A Little Matter of Genocide and Struggle for the Land

"Tinker's powerful and well-reasoned thoughts are expressed in a much kinder way than some of us are likely to do. While Tinker's work is well known to scholars, it is less known to most younger readers and hence will arrive on the scene as brand-new thoughts. Just what is needed in a society that seems to be more a flock of sheep than a human enterprise."
— Vine Deloria Jr., author of God Is Red and Custer Died for Your Sins