Dream Catchers: How Mainstream America Discovered Native Spirituality

Paperback | November 30, 2005

byPhilip Jenkins

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In books such as Mystics and Messiahs, Hidden Gospels, and The Next Christendom, Philip Jenkins has established himself as a leading commentator on religion and society. Now, in Dream Catchers, Jenkins offers a brilliant account of the changing mainstream attitudes towards Native Americanspirituality, once seen as degraded spectacle, now hailed as New Age salvation. Jenkins charts this remarkable change by highlighting the complex history of white American attitudes towards Native religions, considering everything from the 19th-century American obsession with "Hebrew Indians" and Lost Tribes, to the early 20th-century cult of the Maya as bearers of the wisdomof ancient Atlantis. He looks at the popularity of the Carlos Castaneda books, the writings of Lynn Andrews and Frank Waters, and explores New Age paraphernalia including dream-catchers, crystals, medicine bags, and Native-themed Tarot cards. He also examines the controversial New Age appropriationof Native sacred places and notes that many "white indians" see mainstream society as religiously empty. An engrossing account of our changing attitudes towards Native spirituality, Dream Catchers offers a fascinating introduction to one of the more interesting aspects of contemporary Americanreligion.

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In books such as Mystics and Messiahs, Hidden Gospels, and The Next Christendom, Philip Jenkins has established himself as a leading commentator on religion and society. Now, in Dream Catchers, Jenkins offers a brilliant account of the changing mainstream attitudes towards Native Americanspirituality, once seen as degraded spectacle, n...

Philip Jenkins is Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 5.91 × 8.82 × 0.79 inPublished:November 30, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195189108

ISBN - 13:9780195189100

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"Anyone wishing to understand the ongoing romanticization of Native American spirituality should read this book.... Although Jenkins is critical of whites' apropriations of Native American culture and belief, and particularly of their tendency to repackage New Age ideas with a veneer ofindigenous authority, his tone is never unfair; he does a masterful job of setting such uses-cum-exploitations in historical context."--Publishers Weekly