Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Indigenous Religions

  • Kenneth H. LokensgardEmail author
  • Alexander (Alejandro) V. Gonzalez
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9019

Indigenous religions are the ancestral religions of peoples who are native to particular landscapes. Their religions help them achieve the goal of living successfully in those places. Thus, indigenous religions vary, just as the places their practitioners inhabit vary. Yet, the many religions practiced by indigenous peoples share common themes. These themes include emphases upon relationship and place. The practicing psychologist or scholar of psychology and religion should pay close attention to manifestations and implications of these themes, as they are the basis of behavior and identity among indigenous peoples.

While a strong thread of tradition runs through most indigenous religions, colonized, often-relocated peoples have had to adapt, borrow, or even establish new religious practices to live in new cultural and/or geographic environments. When the “newness” of these religions is particularly evident, we refer to them as “indigenized” religions. These religions also often fall...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth H. Lokensgard
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexander (Alejandro) V. Gonzalez
    • 2
  1. 1.The Department of Religious StudiesUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Strayer UniversityPiscatawayUSA