The book The Indian Great Awakening by Linford Fisher is part of the scholarly work on involvement to Christianity of the Native American. A lot of this work for now has addressed individuals as well as groups of people. The writer takes a broad scope of the engagement of conversion to Christianity especially in the New England which involved Connecticut, Long Island, Rhode Island as well as west of Massachusetts. This took place between the year 1700 and 1820. This great awakening focuses on the change, growth and patterns of Indian involvement in Christian matters with less emphasis on the roughness or smoothness of Native religion encounters. To comprehensively bring out the whole picture of the Indian Great Awakening, Fisher writes on several topics that exhaustively address this issue. They include; rainmaking, evangelism, awakening, affiliating, separating, education, migrating and remaining. It’s through these topics that the writer gives a detailed survey on the Indian Great Awakening (Wheeler, 2012).
The book binds threads of Native past which are not obviously taken to have close relationship. That is land, application of systems of the court and politics of intertribal. Chapter for and five on affiliating and separating respectively carry a lot of content in this book’s address to the Great Awakening. It talks of foundational basis such freedom of affiliation by Christian believers with the circles of Christianity.
Linford Fisher writes to reconstruct a past that is full of controversies what is known as the Indian great awakening which is a period during the eighteen century when the native Indians in the New England accepted Christianity. Fisher’s account was a problem to the adoption that Indians fully accepted the White colonialists and welcomed their religion and believes. Instead, he bases his arguments on the social-political environment in which Indians found themselves and forced them to the wall which made them to assume extreme cautions in order to survive, which included a strategic change to Christianity. In page eight of his book, Fisher assures that the Indians change to conversion to Christianity was both provisional and practical in a great way. The writer again states in totality some of the feedbacks of the Indians to matters of believe from rejection to adoption, so as to practically show the multiplicity as well as how the native society was diverse (Fisher, 2012).
Linford states clearly the purpose of the realities of economy if the Native Indians in modeling their engagements culturally with the New England colonies. Among the methods used by the whites and was successful was the influence of Indians by means of indebtedness. For example the whites had market of exchanging liquor with other goods, Indians became so dependent on liquor which made them to owe whites huge debts which were not easy to settle at once. This made the Indians to pay such debts with their own lands. This continuous land loss was the center of their suffering culturally and made them weak to the extent that it forced them to embrace the lifestyle of the colonial evangelists so as to seek how to survive in such a society (Fisher, 2012).
On page fifty one of the book, it is stated that education played a key role to the missionaries since it was used to give rise to Christians who could be able to read and write as well as Indians who were Anglicized in terms of culture. Indians in their daily life embraced education as they changed to Christianity in multitudes. Indians participated in a huge way in the First Great Awakening which was characterized the continued engagements culturally as it was before. It was a surprise as time went after the awakening that Native people and small groups advance their beliefs and their way of life in a great manner since they left the colonial churches and coming up with Indian churches for themselves (Fisher L. D., 2012).
In the educational sector, in Native Indians commanded their space as well in a mighty way. They preferred reserved local learning centers and asking for educators who were Indians when there was such possibility. It was during 1970s that two groups of Native Indians who had converted to Christianity relocated to New York and established houses for Christian Indians. It was their new place of settlement. Though most of the England Natives who were new as well as those who suffered as a result of Christianity, decided to continue living in New England going on with the activities such as land leasing, agriculture as well as dong the work in the reserves.
The fact that Indian participation in the Great awakening is viewed in many cases as whole and conversion in totality, Linford’s conclusive reports on the records of the church, documents of the court as well as friendly discussion shows reality that advances in its complexity. Putting this awakening in the context of loss of land as well as the fight for equality in culture which is ongoing in the eighteen century shows it as an additional level in the continuing collaboration of the local people with the views of Christians as well as the education institutions which dominated the colonial world. Revealing this narrative that is not easily shared of the Great Awakening as well as the idea of separation of Indians which resulted, and how it affects the culture of Indians as a community. Linford’s books which is gracefully written gives a great challenge to thoughts which have been held for long as far as faith and Native Anglo American engagements in concerned (Fisher, 2012).
In conclusion, Linford in his book The Indian Great Awakening, uses various themes to comprehesivelly iron out this issue leaving us with no questions. It is very clear that the christian colonies influenced Native Indians and wooed then into adopting christianity as well as their education system.
Fisher, L. D. (2012). Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America. In L. D. Fisher, The Indian Great Awakening (p. 51). New York: Oxford University Press.
Fisher, L. D. (2012). The Indian Great Awakening. New York: Oxfod University Press.
Wheeler, R. M. (2012). Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America. In L. D. Fisher, The Indian Great Awakening (p. 312). New York: Oxford University Press.