Deloria, Vine, Jr. George H. Frein - Essay

George H. Frein

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[With God Is Red Deloria has written] a highly telling polemic against Christianity.

The core of God Is Red is a comparison of Christian and Indian beliefs about the nature of religion, creation, the meaning of history, the character of religious experience, death, human personality and community, and the role of religion in the contemporary world. The basic difference between the two religions is that one perceives the world in terms of time, the other in terms of space. (p. 186)

Many readers will find fault with the Christian writers Deloria relies upon to describe the Christian faith, but they serve well enough. Other writers more in keeping with one's own Christian bias would no doubt serve Deloria's criticism just as well. Most readers will wish that less space had been given to the defects of Christianity and more to the religion of the land and its native peoples. But, after reading God Is Red it will be impossible to be content with Indian history and romance. Deloria makes an irresistible case for reading The Sacred Pipe. Black Elk Speaks, Lame Deer: Seeker of Visions, and other sources of tribal religious wisdom as an aid to saving one's land and soul. (p. 187)

George H. Frein, "What Christians Do with History." in The Nation (copyright 1974 The Nation magazine, The Nation Associates, Inc.), Vol. 218. No. 6, February 9, 1974. pp. 186-87.