McNally Publishes “Defend the Sacred”

14 December 2020

Professor Michael McNally has published his book, Defend the Sacred: Native American Religious Freedom Beyond the First Amendment (Princeton University Press, 2020), for which he was granted the Guggenheim Fellowship. The book follows the innovative and resourceful ways Native Americans have legally protected themselves as a communal tradition that does not easily fit within a Western construction of religion. In doing so, he explores the powerful rhetoric of “religious freedom,” as well as the weight theoretical and definitional conversations surrounding religion hold within this legal context.

From the Morning Star Institute:

“This book tells the story of Native Peoples’ urgent and complex struggle for religious and cultural freedoms. Michael McNally stands witness to our urgency about protecting sacred places, defending ancestors, and continuing traditional ways, especially those in danger of desecration and harm. He traces and makes understandable the complex legal barriers that impede our free exercise of traditional religions and the maze of laws we stitch together for current protections and future possibilities. I urge activists, advocates, allies, policymakers, judges, lawyers, and traditional practitioners to read this book.”

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