On Wednesday, February 13, the Msgr. John Mary Fraser Centre for Practical Theology invites you to attend the Scarboro Missions Lecture in Inter-religious Dialogue followed by the Official Opening of the Msgr. John Mary Fraser Centre for Practical Theology.
The lecture is entitled “Lakota and Christian Interreligious Dialogue: Questions Surrounding the Life, Teachings, and Influence of Nick Black Elk,” presented by Dr. Michael Stoeber, Scarboro Missions Chair in Interreligious Dialogue, Regis College. The Respondent will be Dr. John Dadosky, Professor, Systematic Theology, Regis College, and the Moderator for the lecture will be Dr. Pamela Couture, Jane and Geoffrey Martin Chair in Church and Community, Emmanuel College.
Description: The story about the influential Lakota healer and holy man—Black Elk Speaks (1932)—has become widely popular and an authoritative guide for North American indigenous spirituality. However, given Nick Black Elk’s conversion to Roman Catholicism some twenty-five years prior to its publication, and his work as a Roman Catholic catechist, controversy surrounds this book. This lecture will explore various related questions: How does Nick Black Elk’s Roman Catholicism colour the dynamics of the indigenous spirituality in the book? How much does the narrator of the story, John Niehardt, positively influence or distort the dynamics of the spirituality? How might this account of indigenous spirituality have actually influenced 20th century developments in Roman Catholic spirituality? These questions have been further complicated by the recent initiation of the cause for the sainthood of Nick Black Elk in the Roman Catholic Church. How might this process towards canonization function to continue the Roman Catholic Church’s role in colonialism? How might it actually work to support the indigenous spirituality that Black Elk articulated so influentially?
The evening’s schedule is as follows:
5:30: Opening Remarks
5:45: Website Launch