The Colonizing Effect of Christianity on the Pine Ridge Reservation: Introduction

One of the more interesting things I got up to last semester was a study of the intermarriage of imperialism and Christianity.  Specifically, my case study was how Christianity was employed by the US to colonize the Pine Ridge reservation.

Yet to even get to that point,  the US position in the legacy of European empire had to be explored.  The same methods European empire used to break cultures and absorb them into the underclass were employed by the US against the indigenous of North America.  A bunch of fascinating doctrines and proclamations can be linked to show how Christianity and empire looked out for and justified each other.  It was interesting to contrast Christian historians interpretation of events with Lakota elders I went and interviewed.

The Lakota worldview has much of relevance to speak to a modern world plagued by the problems of industrial empire, since the Lakota were some of the original dissenters of that industrial empire.  If I learned anything from this study of empires, its that.  My next project will be the articulating these connections between Lakota philosophy and various modern day dissenters of empire (anarchism, anonymous, certain factions of environmentalism).  Yet before I jump into the next big project, I’d like to distill the last big project, in a less formal way than simply posting a research paper.

Over the next several days, I’m going to rework this academic paper on empires and their symbiosis with Christianity into several posts.  I’ll catalog them all in order here when this is finished.


2 thoughts on “The Colonizing Effect of Christianity on the Pine Ridge Reservation: Introduction

  1. Yep, that is exactly where I go. All the way back to Constantine, then trace through doctrines like Terra Nullus, and how the US founded its empire on things like the Discovery doctrine. I got somewhat busy and this project unintentionally ended up on hiatus. Thanks for the reminder to return to it.

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