The Dilemma between Church and Culture Collide: Europeans and Native Americans

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The Dilemma between Church and Culture Collide

In the past, over the years, missionaries of certain religious views have travelled across thousands of miles to foreign lands to reach out to convert others to their beliefs and ways. Probably the most common known conversion is the Europeans and the Native Americans. As the Europeans came to the New World, the idea to convert these estranged people to their ways and beliefs became one of the most important issues. Some Indians accepted the new philosophy of living but others did not agree to the intrusion. The problem with the conversion method that many Europeans did was that they did not necessarily know how to convert the indigenous people. Many did not try to understand the ways and methods of the foreigners. With that, there was not much success and it lead to many dying because it was a miscommunication between the two different groups of people. In the story the Problem of Old Harjo, John Oskinson writes of a missionary woman, who is bound to teaching a convert, an Indian, that the ways he is living is not acceptable in the church. The culture difference between Native Americans and the Europeans was a big gap. Indians believe in different gods while the Europeans believed in the one god. The Europeans believed one wife for marriage where Indians saw no wrong in marrying more than one woman. In the story, Miss Evans has been trying to convert Mr. Harjo, an Indian for the longest time. “..her gracious appeal had convinced old Harjo that this was the time to repent and be saved”(Oskison, 1046). But as the story goes on, we see that old Harjo has a dilemma that is against the acceptance of the Church beliefs: he has two wives. Wives of Indians back then were not scene as wives were considered to the Europeans. “Early European explorers and missionaries interpreted the Indian woman's role as a powerless servant in a male-dominate society”( Women being seen more seen as slaves, impacted...
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