Essay The Dogma of the Land

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The Dogma of the Land

The Native American tradition of spirituality differs significantly from that of the European tradition. The reason for this disparity can be in part attributed to the origin of each group's particular belief system. The focal point of the Native American's culture and spirituality revolves around the centrality of the land, where dogma often tends to lie at the heart of European and Western religions.

Native American religious traditions tend to be more nature-oriented stressing the importance of the land, which aides in the feeding and sheltering of their people, or in other words supports the existence of an entire culture. European religious traditions, or more specifically Judeo-Christian traditions
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They had brought a great buffalo in from the plain. Everyone went out to see and to pray (Heath 2716).

As you can see here from this brief example, the Native Americans believed that the food they ate, in this case buffalo, was a blessing to them and they rejoiced and made the feast a sort of celebration.

The fact that Native American culture tends to be more nature-oriented also affects the way in which they perceive time. This may sound odd and somewhat hard to comprehend, as it did to me when this concept was first brought to my attention. But it never really occurred to me that there could be any alternative to the Western linear model of time. Native Americans, however, believe that time is more cyclical in its nature, rather than linear. Of course one of the reasons for this perception of measurement in time is rooted in nature and coincides with the "cyclical passage of the seasons, the ripening of fruits and the movement of animals and birds" to name just a few parallels. Adaptation tends to be one of the central principles of Native American culture, both in terms of the natural cycle of the world, as well as the surrounding environment. In contrast, the European perception of time is more comparable to a long and straight road, leading from one point in the "here and now" to an invisible point far off in

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