Moving a Movement: Missions and Missionaries in Medieval North America

Author(s): Amanda Butler

Year: 2017


The relationship between cultural interaction and religion as a catalyst for long-term historical change is an underdeveloped line of inquiry in pre-Columbian archaeology. Particularly in North American archaeology, Mississippian cultural expansions and intrusions have been considered primarily in political or economic terms. Missionizing – defined as the intent to convert someone or something to a new idea or religion - in cultural and religious change may have facilitated the spread of a Mississippian religion from Cahokia, the only Native American city north of Mexico. The establishment and spread of a Cahokia-Mississippian religion can be seen as a religious movement differentially generated by many physical movements of persons, things, ideas, and substances. Archaeology is well suited to examine the fine-grained negotiation process of religious change. This paper focuses on one specific case study at the Collins site in East-Central Illinois and examines whether missionary practices were a catalyst for a religious movement.

Cite this Record

Moving a Movement: Missions and Missionaries in Medieval North America. Amanda Butler. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429686)

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Geographic Keywords
North America - Midwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17581