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Native: Identity, Belonging, and…
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Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God (edição 2020)

por Kaitlin B. Curtice (Autor)

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522388,120 (3.5)2
Título:Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God
Autores:Kaitlin B. Curtice (Autor)
Informação:Brazos Press (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 208 pages
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Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God por Kaitlin B. Curtice

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Books about spirituality are tricky for me. I was raised in an ultra conservative faith, and have spent the better part of the past 25 years deconstructing those teachings to come to a place of freedom with the beliefs I currently hold. There aren't many teachers whose words I feel like I can trust. The list is pretty short. It's exciting for me when I can add an author to that list.

Much of the deconstruction I did in my faith was in the area of the patriarchal structures I had been fed for years. I hadn't, honestly, given much room or thought to the issue of race. And then along comes Kaitlin B. Curtice, and her magnificent new book, and I feel like once again I am starting on a journey.

Native is beautifully written - I think Curtice is truly a poet - and is also one of the most uncomfortable reading experiences I've faced in a long while. Curtice is a member of the Potawatomi tribe, and as she shares her own faith journey, she challenges so much of the existing religious structure in ways I hadn't even thought about. Her voice is gentle but insistent - she asserts her right to be heard, and allows her readers to make space for their own stories, no matter where in the telling we find ourselves.

I am so thrilled this book found its way into my hands. I plan to start reading it again almost immediately, because there is so much to learn from its pages. I cannot recommend highly enough that you get this book into your hands. ( )
  NeedMoreShelves | May 5, 2020 |
One of the benefits of the present age is a recognition of the value of different voices and the need to hear the perspective from groups historically marginalized and/or oppressed. This theme is also present in Christianity. Many good works have been written by people of color who profess Jesus as Lord and providing their particular perspective on the faith and its heritage.

The present author continues in that theme as a woman of white and Potawatomian ancestry. This work speaks to her journey in faith, having been raised in a traditionally "white" Baptist experience and faith, and growing in association and connection with her Potawatomi roots.

To that end this work is a good testimonial for the author on that journey and how she is informing her understanding of what God accomplished in Jesus through a lot of her Native values and traditions. She can see and point out the effects of white supremacy and colonialism in the expression of Christianity in America, and display how many of the traditions of the Native Americans are more than amenable to maintain in following Jesus as Lord. The book can also help white people learn about certain aspects of the Native experience: the kinds of things to avoid saying and doing, education about the Native experience, the exhaustion Natives feel in having to explain/justify themselves to white people, etc. Such lessons can also be valuable for people of color who are not Native as well.

The author seems to fully sign on to the modern progressive Christian/Evangelical platform, and the work and its conversation reflect it frequently. Many will be made uncomfortable by the amount of co-opting of her Native heritage in which she engages, and might easily think she has compromised her faith to return to Native ideas and ideologies. I think much of such a reaction is rooted in an inability or unwillingness to perceive how the critics have made American white culture normative; her desire to use Native terms for God, Father, Spirit, and the world are as justified as our use of English terms, and any concern about confusion, distortion, or maintenance of some kind of paganism would be just as real as for calling today Monday, or having a Thursday.

It is for us to listen and learn, even if we ultimately do not fully agree, and in this the book has great benefit.

**--galley received as part of early review program ( )
  deusvitae | Mar 23, 2020 |
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