Michael McNally, Professor of Religion, has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, one of the most prestigious grants in the scholarly world and in the arts, to complete a book, Native American Religious Freedom beyond the First Amendment.
McNally is just the fourth Carleton faculty member to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship in the program’s 92-year history. The award recognizes the promise of his book project, which explores what happens to Native American claims to sacred places, practices, objects, knowledge, and ancestral remains in the law, when such sacred claims do not easily fit into the legal category of “religion.”
In telling the remarkable stories behind historical and current events such as the protests at Standing Rock, the book will take stock of the implications of Native Americans’ religious-freedom claims in various legal discourses—environmental law, treaty based federal Indian law, historic preservation law, indigenous rights in international human rights law. McNally’s book will inform discussions about religious freedom, the cultural history of religion, and the vitality of indigenous religions today. Notably, McNally’s project has also received a 2017 Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities.