Religion in

REL 371
Advanced Studies in American Religions: Lakota Sioux


Tim Murphy

Office: 209 Manly
Course: M, 3:00-5:30 PM
Course Number: 48450
Location: Manly 210
Office Hours: TBA or by appointment


Using the famous wichasa wacan (“holy man”) Black Elk (not uncritically) as a point of entry, we will examine the history and social structure of the Lakota (or Teton) Sioux (the Native Americans in Dances with Wolves) as a prelude to a semester-long study of their myths, rituals, and beliefs.  The emphasis of the course will be on the seven sacred ceremonies, including the Vision Quest, Sweat Lodge, and Sun Dance.  This is a one-time offering; it covers the American Religions and upper division course requirements for the Religious Studies Major.  The format will be heavily weighted towards student involvement; together, we will jointly/collectively explore in depth the religious and cultural world of these fascinating people.


Fall 2009 Syllabus


Demallie, Raymond & Parks, Douglas
Sioux Indian Religion: Tradition and Innovation (paperback)
Univ of OK Press, 2/89
ISBN: 0806121661

Neihardt, John
Black Elk Speaks, new edition (paperback)
Bison Books; 3rd ed 11/1/04
ISBN: 0803283857

Kehoe, Alice
The Ghost Dance: Ethnohistory and Revitalization (paperback)
Waveland Press, 2ed, 6/15/06
ISBN: 1577664531

Holder, Preston
The Hoe and the Horse on the Plains: A Study of Cultural Development among North American Indians (Landmark Ed) (paperback)
Univ of NE Press, 8/1/1974
ISBN: 0803258097

Costello, Damian
Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism
Orbis Books, 4/2005
ISBN: 9781570755804

Powers, William
Oglala Religion
Textbook Paperback Reprint
ISBN: 9780803287068