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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.

ISBN: None

Description: Hardcover, 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)

This compilation by Thomas B. Roberts & Paula Jo Hruby, © 1995-2003 CSP

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