Treat, James 1962–
Treat, James 1962–
PERSONAL: Born September 13, 1962, in Anadarko, OK; son of Jimmie Lee (a minister) and Marcia Ann (a teacher) Treat. Ethnicity: "Mixed." Education: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, B.S., 1984; Pacific School of Religion, M.A., 1989; Graduate Theological Union, Ph.D., 1993.
ADDRESSES: Home—P.O. Box 2043, Norman, OK 73070. Office—Honors College, University of Oklahoma, 1300 Asp Ave., Norman, OK 73019; fax: 405-325-7109. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: University of California, Santa Cruz, assistant professor of American studies, 1992–95; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, assistant professor of American studies, 1996–2000; University of Oklahoma, Norman, assistant professor, 2000–03, associate professor of honors, 2003–.
(Editor and author of introduction) For This Land: Writings on Religion in America, Routledge (New York, NY), 1999.
Around the Sacred Fire: Native Religious Activism in the Red Power Era, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: The son of a Baptist minister and an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, James Treat became interested in the relationship between Americans of Christian European descent and Americans descended from native populations. After editing two collections concerning religions in America, Treat released his 2004 book, Around the Sacred Fire: Native Religious Activism in the Red Power Era.
While much attention was paid by journalists and other writers to the militant Native American Red Power movement during the 1960s and 1970s, Treat's book examines the other side of Native Americans' civil rights struggle. His subject is the Indian Ecumenical Conference, which ran from 1970 until 1983 and then sporadically thereafter into the early 1990s. The goal of the conference was to unite the tribes of North America peacefully, working, as Raymond A. Bucko explained in Theological Studies, to bridge "a long-standing and growing gap between traditional and Christian Indians."
In Around the Sacred Fire Treat provides a detailed history of the conference and its key figures, while also discussing the state of social life for Native Americans at the time. By focusing on the conference, Treat is able to illustrate the problems affecting Native American society at the time, as they are reflected in the microcosm of the conference itself. Calling the book "lively, engrossing, and readable," Bucko recommended it for anyone "interested in interreligious dialogue, ecumenism, [and] the relationship between Native Christianity and Native spirituality."
Treat told CA: "My research focuses on native religious diversity in the contemporary period, especially the relationship between tribal and Christian traditions in reservation and urban communities. It addresses the broader theoretical and practical questions raised by the intersections of religion, culture, and politics in a diverse and conflicted world. My two edited collections deal with native religious issues and their relationship to the dominant culture."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 15, 1995, Steve Schroeder, review of Native and Christian: Indigenous Voices on Religious Identity in the United States and Canada, p. 670.
Journal of Ecumenical Studies, winter, 1998, Walter Klaassen, review of Native and Christian, p. 112.
Library Journal, February 1, 2003, Gwen Gregory, review of Around the Sacred Fire: Native Religious Activism in the Red Power Era, p. 97.
Theological Studies, June, 2004, Raymond A. Bucko, review of Around the Sacred Fire, p. 405.