Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Sociology of Religion.
Vernon, Glenn M. (1962).
New York: McGraw-Hill.
xx + 413 pages.
Contents: Preface, 19
chapters divided into 3 parts: 1. Sociological
Approach to the Study of Religion, 2. Sociological
Characteristics of Religion, 3. Religion
and Other Social Institutions, index.
Excerpt(s): In our discussion
in Chapter 2 of religion as part of culture, we emphasized that
religion does not exist in isolation, but is rather, an interactive
unit in a much larger configuration. This is also true of magic.
Magic is also an element of man's culture and therefore a factor
in his society, often in conjunction (or confusion!) with religion.
A mixture of religion and magic and a modern setting
is seen in the case of some 150,00 to 200,000 American and Canad ian
Indians for whom eating peyote is a solemn sacrament. Most
of them accept the Trinity and the Christian ethic, while claiming
that their Native American Church is the Indian version of Christianity.
They see no conflict in participating in the peyote ceremonies
and also attending the Roman Catholic Mass, although the Roman
Catholic priest frowns on this religious double life. Peyote,
they say, gives them power to talk directly to God or Jesus, as
did their ancestors to the Great Spirit. This religious configuration
involves a blending of the old ways of the Indian culture with
twentieth-century "white man's" religion, the blend
varying somewhat from tribe to tribe. Many "see" Jesus
in their peyote-induced visions; sometimes Jesus appears
as an Indian. The functions of these religious patterns to these
racially proud but poor people are suggested in the statement
by a thirty-nine-year-old rancher and World War II veteran. "I
don't like my religion out of books. ... This religion is the
one thing left that's really Indian and not borrowed from our
white brothers." (page 73)
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This compilation by Thomas B. Roberts & Paula Jo Hruby, © 1995-2003 CSP