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God Is Red: A Native View of Religion, 30th Anniversary Edition Paperback – September 9, 2003

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God Is Red: A Native View of Religion, 30th Anniversary Edition + The World We Used to Live In: Remembering the Powers of the Medicine Men + Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing; 30th Anniversary Edition edition (September 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555914985
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555914981
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Deloria, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, offers a revised edition of his 1972 study of Native American religion.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


"Deloria's thinking on the subject of religion has lost none of its rage or relevance...since God is Red was first published. This book is broader than its subtitle suggests. It is a trenchant and often witty critique on non-Native religion through Native eyes." — Awkekon Journal

"Deloria's handling of the contrast between Christianity and the naturalistic religion of the American Indians is rich in perceptiveness." — Choice

"Vine Deloria, Jr. could be one of the most important living Native American writers, and insofar as there can be any hope of human survival in the face of civilization's insane onslaught, one of the most important writers ever to exist." -- The Bloomsbury Review

"The flagship book on Native American spirituality remains Vine Deloria's God is Red. He does an outstanding job of translating complex spiritual issues into very simple truths." — Wilma P. Mankiller, Former Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation

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Customer Reviews

No religion can take away what the life the creator intended for us!
Pesancio Lasiloo
Also, I wish Deloria had not put in all of those crazy theories that make up what seems like the bulk of the book.
J. Rosenblum
If you truly want to understand Native American beliefs in religion than read this book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Cathleen M. Walker VINE VOICE on January 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have read a lot of books, and very few have moved me, inspired me and blown me away like this one. Vine Deloria is one very wise man. If you come to this book with preconceived ideas and stereotyped conceptions about Native Americans (as most of us do) you will no longer have them once you have opened your mind and your heart to what this man has to say.

Deloria is well read, and this book is far more than I expected it to be. This phrase will haunt me until the day I die: "The Spanish, in slaughtering the Indians, would have a priest standing by with Holy Water available as they disemboweled pregnant Indian women."
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Zentao on July 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
Well, after years of the Western tradition doing 'comparative' studies of other cultures it finally gets analyzed in the same manner by someone from a different culture. Deloria is a well-known member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe who is also an author, scholar, philosopher and lawyer. Utilizing precisely the same methods practiced by the Christian-based, scientific-minded culture perpetuated in our present Universities he deftly slices open Christianity from his point of view.
Deloria's main thesis is to remind us that "we are a part of nature, not a transcendent species with no responsibility to the natural world." He makes this point in numerous ways, often in a very witty manner. I have no doubt this makes those entrenched in our Western condition very uncomfortable but it is healthy medicine for the insanity of the times. I also have no doubt his views make those with 'authentic Indian names', no doubt given at a three-day retreat, very uncomfortable.
Welcome to reality. The reality of forced sterilization, funded by the churches and government, and the the reality of children who were "rescued" to residential schools and force-fed Western culture. This book aptly exposes the hypocrisy and malaise affecting Christianity at this time.
It is only somewhat scholarly in style - compared to many such books, particularly Said's classic, this is an easy read. Enjoy even if it makes you squirm.
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122 of 155 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
God is Red, by Vine Deloria, Jr., is an important, thought-provoking book that should be required reading in religous studies courses. However, there are several shortcomings that should be pointed out:
1. He tends to lump Jews and Christians together in discussing the problems of the so-called "fall" story in Genesis, and the concept of "original sin." Judaism does not have a doctrine of original sin. The morning prayers in the Jewish prayer book include the following: "My God, the soul you have given me, she is pure."
2. Many Christians also do not subscribe to the doctrine of "original sin/original guilt," especially as propounded by Augustin of Hippo. Nor is the notion of personal salvation from an inherited state of sin the only Christian theological position. Salvation and redemption are more complex concepts about which there is a broad range of theological definition. Mr. Deloria's opinion that the validiity of the Christian religion depends critically on treating the "fall" as a historical event is a narrow view. It may be the most prominent stream of Western theology--and certainly the one that has in confronted native peoples with claims of superiority and demands of conversion, for which it justly deserves condemnation--but it is by no means the universal Christian theology or spirituality.
3. Mr. Deloria has set up one theological position as a counterpoint to his argument. He should read more broadly in theology--e.g., the Eastern Orthodox churches, whose theology is substantially different from that of most Potestants and Roman Catholics.
4. There are many "dispersed" peoples in the world, who long ago lost any connection to a specific sacred place.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
In a clearly biased manner DeLoria sets down the absolute truths according to the majority of Indians alive today. Their "religion" is NOT a religion, in the Western sense of the word. It is not one governed by time, but flows across all time. It is not centered in a single Saviour, but in ALL of life. This book points a finger at the Western / White man's outrage at finding a People he has not yet been able to fully "convert", at the extent the Newcomers have gone to and continue to go to in order to completely eradicate the Indians' idea of a Creator and Creation. It also exposes the fact of continued disillusionment among the Western invaders, tries to show why and how especially Christian religions have failed their followers. Even the leaders of the Christian faith complain of the failings DeLoria lists. What we actually have here is a book which tries earnestly to explain why Indians can never see eye-to-eye with Western religion, why it is so important for Westerners to recognize these differences, and why every Indian who is an Indian will forever demand religious freedom and access to his "church"... which is all of nature,all Creation, every inch, everywhere. A fine read if you want to know the truth about how Indians think and feel about their right to worship as they see fit.
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