multiculturally yours

By Diogenes (articles) | Oct 07, 2007

It seems that every time a pope makes a trip to South America, there's a spate of news stories about Indians protesting the 16th century introduction of Christianity into the continent as a tool of colonialist oppression and an unprovoked assault on the indigenous spiritualies which flourished among the natives of the time. As with every comparable endeavor, no doubt there were many occasions of inexcusable rapacity in which the conquerors' religion was warped into an unseemly role. Yet it's facile to assume the indigenous religions were themselves free of unwelcome obligations. The following news item shows what it meant in pre-Christian Peru for your kids to take part in the Offertory:

LONDON (Reuters) - Hair samples taken from child mummies suggest the ancient Incas "fattened" up children chosen for ritual sacrifice months before actually killing them, British researchers said on Monday.

A chemical analysis of four mummies found high in the Andes mountains also indicates the Incans took the children on a lengthy pilgrimage prior to the killings, the team said. In the case of the 15-year-old "Llullaillaco Maiden" the road to death started at least 12 months before.

"We are looking at a process that began a considerable amount of time before their death," said Andrew Wilson, an archaeologist at the University of Bradford, who led the study. "The maiden was essentially being fattened up or prepared for her final fate at least 12 months before her killing."

Call it "full and active participation" in the liturgy.

Richard Cross holds a doctorate in psychology, who has taught at the university level, including at Franciscan University. He is currently an educational researcher and consultant in the field of psychology and related disciplines.
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  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Dec. 23, 2009 1:37 PM ET USA

    One problem with this article is that the teaser on the main page leaves one with the impression that the editors agree with the sentiment. The other is that it stops short of saying that "It is hubris for us to believe that mankind can control climate".

  • Posted by: - Dec. 22, 2009 11:01 PM ET USA

    Di, here's a real challenge: find a quote from a new-age priestess that ISN'T 100% flaky or inane. I dare you!

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Dec. 22, 2009 5:59 PM ET USA

    Precisely what is Starhawk's faith, anyway? I think we get better philosophy at Starbucks.