Race, Ethnicity, & Religion


RELG362: Race, Ethnicity, & Religion

Document Type

Student Paper

Publication Date

Spring 2020


History of Religion | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Religion | United States History

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

This paper analyzes how the Mississippi River and its surrounding land were co-opted by European explorers to establish Christian dominance in hopes of remaking the Garden of Eden. Christian colonizers both deified and dominated nature to both justify colonization and display their own power over space and religion. This paper first analyzes Hernando de Soto's and Jacques Marquette's naming of the river, and then argues how this initial naming is indicative of a larger trend of occupying and deifying perceived virginal nature and wilderness in order to establish a Christian space on the North American Continent.