A Reader- Foreword by Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw
Edited By George J. Sefa Dei
6. Space, Time and Unified Knowledge : Following the Path of Vine Deloria, Jr. Jefferey D. Anderson 92
Vine Deloria, Jr. was perhaps the foremost Native American thinker of the twentieth century. Inmany of his later writings, he looked back on a career in which he had gained some reaction after publication of Custer Died for Your Sins (1969), but soon after, as he reflected later in life, he “hit the glass ceiling that minority writers eventually hit when American white intellectuals no longer pay attention to them” (Bender et al., 1998, p. 24). At most, relevant academic disciplines respond- ed to his works on an ad hoc basis, usually only for nominal citation, in defense of their model or discipline, or to take one of his particular calls to action seriously. As Treat points out, Deloria’s works on religion drew little attention from theologians (Deloria & Treat, 1999, p. 3), despite his solid back- ground in comparative theology and his primary aim to engage dialogue about religion in God Is Red (1994) and The Metaphysics of Modern Existence (1979). Following an ancient academic tradition, his opponents labeled, caricatured, and discarded his work by exaggerating a partial reading and contrasting it to the current, if always transient, state of the art in their disciplines. The book Red Earth, White Lies (1995), for example, only attracted the defensive posturing of archeologists united to defend their science as a whole, while disregarding his ultimate concerns. It should be noted that some of the cherished theories about Native American prehistory at the time have since proved to be challengeable and falsifiable in...
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