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The Doctrine of Discovery, roots of our discontent

May 5, 2024 | Colonization, Indigenous, News, Top Stories | 0 comments

“I discovered this fabulous series of podcasts, thanks to the interviews of our Buckingham community environmental activists by reporter Molly Born, which resulted in the Sacred & Profane podcast published in late April 2024: A church, an ashram and a pipeline.

VACRN was birthed, thanks to the pregnant pressures presented to our local Buckingham community by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline resistance movement and our need to get to the systemic roots of how we got here. VACRN has followed in the footsteps of the Rights of Nature & community rights movement, looking deeply at the structural foundations of our ecocidal culture and history.

I share this as a white woman, [privileged simply from that status alone], earnestly and urgently wanting to understand how we got to this place of mass destruction, and can we stop ourselves from this sixth extinction that we are already well into? I find pressing the opportunities for learning from the deep wisdom of engaged Indigenous peoples, who have borne the brunt of colonial extraction for the last 500 years [though we are awakening to the fact that no one is spared]. This podcast on the Christian Doctrine of Discovery and domination is an excellent introduction, a starting point for the deep dive.” Heidi Dhivya Berthoud

Sacred and Profane podcast:

“In this season of Sacred & Profane, we explore how religions have shaped the climate crisis — and how they offer ways to imagine a different future.

Scholars and climate activists increasingly point to European colonization of the Americas as a kind of tipping point in not only human history, but climate history as well. Colonialism created a legal and cultural framework that prioritized private ownership of land and resources, giving rise to extractive industries that have weakened and destroyed ecosystems across the world.

We’re joined by Philip Arnold and Sandy Bigtree of the Skä•noñh Great Law of Peace Center. They have a podcast of their own, Mapping the Doctrine of Discoverywhich explores the impact of a series of proclamations by Catholic popes that have become the basis for land ownership in countries across the world — including right here in the United States.”

Listen now to “The Letter of the Law” Season 4, Episode 1, UVA Religion, Race and Democracy Lab, January 16, 2024.


Continue on with the Sacred & Profane podcasts. And follow all of the Mapping the Doctrine of Discovery podcasts to shift your perspective greatly, [if not already there]… Shifting from a dominator culture zeitgeist, even a civil rights perspective to right relationship with all of Creation. We of the dominator culture did not succeed in erasing all of the Indigenous ways of a regenerative, inclusive governance, religion, culture, science, economy. Can we shift our consumer, profit, ownership, capitalist based economies away from extracting and poisoning ourselves into extinction? Digest and spread the word…

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