Influence Of Religion In European Society

1354 Words 6 Pages
The two most paramount differences existent among the customs and lifestyles of the indigenous societies of North America and the societies found in Europe, are the influence of religion upon their lives and the role gender played in affecting their society.
One crucial difference among the European and North American societies, is the role religion played in shaping the customs and lifestyles within them. The varying differences among the religions of these societies affected the way they viewed themselves, which in turn influenced the manner in which they conducted their society. An example of this can be seen through the animistic based gods that the Native Americans worshipped. The elemental nature of their gods changed the way they viewed
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Native Americans didn’t believe that they could own land as they too were a part of the land. When Europeans brought forth these ideas of land ownership, the Native Americans were appalled by this and many other ideas that the Europeans carried. Another environmental philosophy the Native Americans held was to make the most of their resources while respecting them. This can be seen with the Native American agricultural set up. Unlike the Europeans who destroyed obstacles, such as trees and plants, in order to create farmland, with parallel rows of crops, the Native Americans were more savvy in minimizing the damage inflicted to the environment. When Native Americans were clearing land for farming purposes, they often encountered trees. Rather than approaching the problem from the European solution of chopping down the trees, instead they would burn the roots of the tree, and plant crops around the tree rather than move it to create clean rows of crops. While the Native American’s animistic religion developed their customs and lifestyles in a manner that respected the environment, this wasn’t the case with the Europeans. A reason to explain why the Europeans did not respect the environment as much as the Native Americans because of how God is portrayed in their religions. In European religions, God …show more content…
This shows through the disrespectful manner in which they treated the environment in the New World, cutting down large amounts of trees and plants, in order to make room for a spacious, organized, and comfortable agricultural set up. The differences among religions, the Native American and European societies shared, created a large cultural chasm between them that affected the way they viewed the land and themselves. In addition, it also changed the basic philosophies the Native Americans and Europeans held. The philosophies that existed among the Europeans and Native Americans differed vastly. The religious philosophies that European societies held were used as a tool to justify their actions. An example of this is displayed by the merciless and brutal Conquistadores of South America. They were constantly using religion to justify their actions, searching for and claiming to see signs of God and His approvement of their actions. When the conquistadores spread diseases to the Aztecs, and used this to their advantage in order to decimate the native population, a follower of Hernando Cortes said at the time, “God saw

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