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Stealing the Earth:
The Conquering of Indigenous Peoples,
the Role of Christianity, and What Can Bring about Justice
What is the Doctrine of Discovery?
Definitions and Demarcations
11 August 2021
North America: 1pm ET, 12 noon CT, 11am MT, 10am PT
Europe: 6pm UK/WEST, 7pm CEST, 8pm EEST
Africa: 6pm Western Africa, 7pm Central, 8pm Eastern Africa
Philippines: 1:00 am (Thur, 12 August 2021)
The Doctrine of Discovery gave Christian explorers the theological and legal authority to claim the lands they “discovered” for their Christian monarchs.
Beginning with the Papal Bulls of the 15th century, European explorers were told and believed that any land not inhabited by Christians was available to be claimed and exploited.
This religious rationalization for world conquest has had a devastating impact on indigenous peoples in every corner of the globe.
Its dangerous legacy continues to inflict pain and destruction in our times.
This five-part series is presented by United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) with our partners in Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) and the UMC's Native American International Caucus (NAIC). The series begins in August and will continue on alternating months; Part Two will be in October.
See the topics of all five sessions at our website
The Doctrine of Discovery
The Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church, 2016
"All levels of The United Methodist Church are called to condemn
the Doctrine of Discovery as a legal document and basis for the seizing
of native lands and abuses of human rights of indigenous peoples...
The United Methodist Church will work toward eliminating
the Doctrine of Discovery as a means to subjugate indigenous peoples
of property and land."
See the full resolution
The United Methodist Church has stated a strong position about the evils of the Doctrine of Discovery and calls on the entire church to condemn and eliminate it.
But few of us know what it is!
In this series, we will delve into the Doctrine's historical roots, the impact of land ownership, the connection to white supremacy, and the consequences in North America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
We will also consider what can be done together to address and reverse some of that legacy in our pursuit of justice.
Join us to take a deep look at the scourge of colonialism which connects the struggles of indigenous peoples on every continent.
The struggle to dismantle colonialism continues in the 21st century!
As we learn together, we can wage that struggle together powerfully.
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Rev. Alvin Deer is a clergy member of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, and a former Executive Director of NAIC. He wrote the 1996 Methodist Apology for the Sand Creek Massacre and has advocated for healing and reconciliation throughout his ministry.
Rev. Carol Lakota Eastin is a clergy member of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference whose ministry has focused on healing relationships with indigenous people and is a contributing author to Women with 2020 Vision which explores the political influence of Native American Women.
Rev. Dr. Daniel Hawk is Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Ashland Theological Seminary, a clergy member of the East Ohio Conference and the author of Joshua in 3-D: A Commentary on Biblical Conquest and Manifest Destiny, as well as shorter works that explore the parallels between the biblical and American conquest narratives.
18 May 2016 – UMKR holds a demonstration with The Native American International Caucus (NAIC) at General Conference in Portland, OR.
The banner reads "HISTORY REPEATS IN PALESTINE: Colonialism, Apartheid, Dispossession: Will we action now or repent later?" This outdoor rally followed the UMC's Act of Repentance in the plenary session, in which the denomination repented of its complicity in the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Native Americans. See the video and text of the NAIC's statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
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UMKR is an international grassroots movement of laity and clergy in the United Methodist Church. We are responding to the Palestinian Christians' urgent call, in Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth, for effective action to end the Israeli occupation and achieve a just peace in the Holy Land.
OUR GOAL: UMKR seeks – through nonviolent action and in partnership with Christians in Palestine – freedom, justice and equality for all Palestinians and Israelis. Learn more about UMKR
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