Dr. Andrea McComb Sanchez (Ph.D. in Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara) specializes in Native American religious traditions, religion in the Southwest, religion and colonialism in the U.S., and religion and the environment. She is a member of the American Indian Studies Graduate Interdisciplinary Program and an affiliate of the Institute of the Environment. Dr. McComb Sanchez’s current book project (under contract with the University of Nebraska Press), Of Corn and Catholicism: A History of Religion and Power in Pueblo Indian Patron Saint Feast Days, focuses on the imposition, adaptation, and eventual appropriation of Catholicism by Pueblo Indians through their development of the Patron Saint Feast Days, and analyzes how these Feast Days are both a relaxation and a maintenance of boundaries between Catholicism and older Pueblo traditions and ceremonies. Dr. McComb Sanchez teaches courses on Native American religious traditions, religion and culture in the Southwest, religion and ecology, and theory and method in religious studies.
RELI 160D5 – Spirituality, Ceremony, and Saints of the Southwest
An introduction to the religious history and contemporary religious diversity of the region currently known as the American Southwest. The religious landscape of this area includes the traditions of indigenous communities, Spanish colonial descendants, Mexican Americans, Anglos, and immigrants from around the globe. This class will take both an historical and thematic approach to religion in the Southwest exploring the role of religion in colonial expansion (Spain, Mexico, and the United States) and focusing on a variety of topics such as land-based spirituality, shrines, pilgrimage, folk saints, religious syncretism, and new religious movements.
RELI 212 – American Indian Religious Traditions
This course offers a broad introduction to the diversity and complexity of American Indian religious traditions historically and in the contemporary. Students will explore general themes in the study of American Indian religions and spirituality along with analyzing specific examples. Of particular importance are the history and effects of colonialism and missionization on Native people, continuing struggles for religious freedom and cultural survival, and historical and contemporary religious responses to social, cultural, political, and geographical changes.