Where the Two Roads Meet
Hardcover | 9780268019570 | November 1999
Where the Two Roads Meet considers how Indian Catholics have tried to follow the route of two separate traditions, each with its own expectations, patterns, and identities. Vecsey examines the lives of American Indian Catholics who have been leaders in their communities and in the Church and considers how these extraordinary men and women have brought together their Indian and Catholic identities to accomplish a cultural and religious syncretism within themselves. This volume, the third in the American Indian Catholics series, scrutinizes two recent developments in Native American Catholic ministry—the Medicine Men and Clergy Meetings that took place in the 1970s at the Lakota Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, and the National Tekakwitha Conference, created to foster American Indian Catholic inculturation. Vecsey demonstrates how these developments have encouraged Church personnel to engage in interfaith dialogue with Indian religious exponents.
Christopher Vecsey is Harry Emerson Fosdick Professor of the Humanities and Native American Studies and Religion at Colgate University. He is the author of On the Padres' Trail (University of Notre Dame Press, 1997) and The Paths of Kateri's Kin (University of Notre Dame Press, 1998), volumes 1 and 2 in the American Indian Catholics series
“From the complete opposition existing between Lakota (Sioux) culture and that of the European settlers and missionaries who moved into their land to the forces changing Lakota traditions and the Catholic Church as their world enters the 21st century, Vecsey has reached it all.” ~Msgr. Paul A. Lenz, Executive Director, Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions
“The third volume of Christopher Vecsey’s comprehensive study is a richly textured addition to his portrayal of religious and cultural interactions over the tumultuous half-millenium of contact between Native American people and Catholic Christianity, mainly in North America. ” ~Howard L. Harrod, Oberlin Alumni Professor of Social Ethics and Sociology of Religion, Vanderbilt University
“[Vecsey] has provided us with an important foundation for reforming our understanding of the esperiential complexities of Chrisitianity in Native North America.” ~Western Historical Quarterly
“...[A] fascinating overview of the interfaith dialogue between church leaders and Indian religious authorities during the 1970s. Vecsey’s work is a balanced and fair account of a highly complex and emotionally charged history of Native American Catholicism. It is sensitively written, detailing the complexities while neither assigning blame nor glossing over abuses. Much of what is recounted is tragic and at times heartbreaking. The book is written with a careful balance between data and insightful analysis or commentary. Native American Christianity is a highly complex, multifaceted, and politically and emotionally charged phenomenon. Vecsey’s masterly account is a helpful contribution to an understanding of it.” ~The Journal of American History
“Concluding his important trilogy on Native American Catholicism, Vecsey’s well-crafted and thorough study demonstrates his characteristic sensitivity to the variety of voices in the historic and contemporary dialogue between Indians and Catholicism.” ~Walter H. Conser, Jr., Professor of Religion and History, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
“Christopher Vecsey has written a most insightful study of the interaction between Native American traditions and Catholicism, the result of over a decade of research. Through historical documentation and contemporary interviews he presents a well-balanced evaluation of the achievements and failures of Catholicism in the evangelization of Native Americans. This is the best scholarly book on the subject that I have seen.” ~Paul B. Steinmetz, S.J., author of Pipe, Bible and Peyote among the Oglala Lakota: A Study in Religious Identity and The Sacred Pipe: An Archetypal Theology
“[T]he book provides valuable information on the Catholic church’s experience with Native Americans, focusing mainly on the 20th century. It is an important part of the puzzle of how churches in America relate to Native Americans and to other ethnic groups.” ~Journal of the West
“...[T]he book achieves its goal of chronicling Native American relations with the Catholic Church. The richness of the book flows from the hundreds of interviews and extensive archival research performed by the author.” ~New Mexico Historical Review
“After 500 plus years of ‘evangelization’ among the first peoples of the Americas, Vecsey’s third volume shows that Native American people have not lost their identity in the Catholic Church in the United States. Rather, they retain their identity despite enormous social, economic and religious forces to assimilate them into American Catholic society, as well as stormy disagreements among themselves.” ~Marie Therese Archambault, O.S.F.