Differring Religions Essay

This essay has a total of 1240 words and 6 pages.


Differring Religions





Each religious group possesses its’ own individual world- view. Two groups, which vary a
great deal when reflecting upon their world-views are the Native Americans and the
Puritans. While one group holds one set of standards and beliefs to be true, the other
group abides by a completely opposite set of ideas.

The Native American religion functions using its’ own world –view. Unlike in Western
religions, the Native American religion does not have certain places in which they need to
be more religious than others do. In the Native American religion there is no notion of
essential monotheism. There is no one true god in their religion; therefore they are free
to have open-ended worship. The Native American religion is also made up of a pluralist
belief. This means that different tribes have different myths and rituals, although they
are all part of the same religion.

In the handout, “Franciscans and Indian Revolt”, the idea that the world-view of Native
American religion differs from many others is evident. The main conflict in this reading
is that men dominate most positions in religious power. The Shaman, the Native American
religious leader, manipulated the people through rituals and trances. He was said to
possess supernatural powers. The Shaman was both feared and admired by the Native
Americans. He was known to have the ability to either heal a sick man, or kill him. It was
these types of powers, which set him apart from the Jesuit priest in the reading.

Originally the Native Americans despised the entire Jesuit religion. The hated their
clothing, their ideas, the way they went about their lives, etc. However, the Jesuits
immunity to disease made the Native Americans take notice of them. It was through this
that they began to admire their “powers”. The Native Americans saw the Jesuits as
sorcerers, just as the Jesuits saw them. The Jesuits ritual of baptism made the Indians
believe that Jesuits had the power to kill people with water. The Jesuits were also able
to read and write, which greatly impressed the Native Americans.

In the reading “French Views of Native Americans”, the Native-Americans are described as “
they are I say, savage, haunting the woods, ignorant, lawless and rude.” They reading
continues to go on referring to them as wanderers and basically a senseless use of human
life. The French formed these opinions of the Native Americans when they went to them to
try and convert them to Catholicism. The Native Americans had difficulty acquiring the new
language, which left the French men angry and frustrated. This entire reading explains why
the French men have such a great hatred of the Native Americans, however they will
continue to try to convert the Native American people to Christian and Catholic belief.

Many of the world-views of the Native American religion are quite different from those of the Puritans.
The Puritan religion was once the central part of American identity. Unlike the Native
Americans, the Puritans were a highly intellectual group. They had systems of meticulously
written doctrines concerning the Renaissance. The Puritans also had a sense of adventure,
which serves a higher intent. By having this characteristic they seek to create a better
society. This is the opposite of what the French believed the Native Americans to be
doing. According to the French reading “ they are wanderers, with nothing to attach them
to a place, neither homes nor relationships, neither possessions nor love of country.”
This description is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Puritan life. The
Puritans attribute their want for a better society to their pioneering spirit. They had
the courage to come from England and settle their families in a new place and begin an
entire new life with no guarantee of success.

Puritans focus their religious beliefs around the notion of the covenant. This is yet
another example of the difference between Puritan and Native American world-views. The
Native Americans do not have one central ideal to follow, nor one God to praise. The
covenant is the basic doctrine of Puritan experience. It is the notion that God makes
people his own good people.

There are three parts to the Puritan covenant. The first part is grace. This is the idea
that few are chosen for salvation by God. The elected few live a life of faithful
obedience to demonstrate that they are a member of the covenant of grace. The second part
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