Indigenous Religion(s) : Local Grounds, Global Networks book cover
1st Edition

Indigenous Religion(s)
Local Grounds, Global Networks

ISBN 9780367898588
Published June 26, 2020 by Routledge
208 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

What counts as 'indigenous religion' in today´s world? Who claims this category? What are the processes through which local entities become recognisable as 'religious' and 'indigenous'? How is all of this connected to struggles for power, rights and sovereignty?

This book sheds light on the contemporary lives of indigenous religion(s), through case studies from Sápmi, Nagaland, Talamanca, Hawai`i, and Gujarat, and through a shared focus on translations, performances, mediation and sovereignty. It builds on long term case-studies and on the collaborative comparison of a long-term project, including shared fieldwork. At the center of its concerns are translations between a globalising discourse (indigenous religion in the singular) and distinct local traditions (indigenous religions in the plural).

With contributions from leading scholars in the field, this book is a must read for students and researchers in indigenous religions, including those in related fields such as religious studies and social anthropology.

Table of Contents

1. Translating Indigeneities: Educative Encounters in Talamanca, Tromsø, and Elsewhere

Bjørn Ola Tafjord

2. Indigenous Religion(s) – in the Making and on the Move: Sámi activism from Alta to Standing Rock

Siv Ellen Kraft

3. Indigenous Futures: The Practice of Sovereignty in Nagaland and Other Places

Arkotong Longkumer

4. Imagining Global Adivasi-ness: Celebrating World Adivasi Day in Chhotaudepur

Gregory Alles

5. Engaged Indigeneity: Articulating, Anticipating, and Enacting Tradition on Mauna Kea

Greg Johnson


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Siv Ellen Kraft is Professor of Religious Studies at the Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies and Theology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

Bjørn Ola Tafjord is Professor of Religious Studies at the Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies and Theology, UiT The Arctic Univerity of Norway.

Arkotong Longkumer is Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Gregory D. Alles is Professor of Religious Studies, McDaniel College, Maryland, USA.

Greg Johnson is Professor of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.



The contributors to this book, each of whom is a highly respected scholar in the field of Indigenous Religions, combine clearly articulated theoretical models with detailed descriptions of concrete cases. In the process, the authors demonstrate that the study of religion only makes sense when, as in the examples of the Indigenous societies described, generalisations are derived from empirical research on specific religious communities and then analysed according to their local historical, political and social contexts.

James L. Cox, University of Edinburgh, UK