38. What’s the deal with cultural appropriation?
Indigenous Religious Traditions in Five Minutes - Molly Bassett
Gregory D. Alles [+]
Gregory Alles is professor of religious studies at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He is co-editor of Numen, the journal of the International Association for the History of Religions, and a member of the steering committee of the Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit of the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Alles has served as President of the North American Association for the Study of Religions. His research has focused widely on rhetoric in Greek and Sanskrit epic, the history of the study of religions in Germany, particularly the work of Rudolf Otto, the study of religions in a global context, and most recently on adivasi (tribal) people in Gujarat, India, known as Rathvas. He edited Religious Studies: A Global View and is author of The Iliad, The Ramayana, and the Work of Religion: Failed Persuasion and Religious Mystification as well as a number of articles.
The cultural appropriation of Indigenous identities, practices, and symbols – even bodies – is widespread. The appropriation of Indigenous religious beliefs and practices constitutes a highly contested topic. The contestation has been particularly acute, although not uniquely so, in locations where the New Age and the Indigenous intersect, such as shamanism.