Christopher (Chris) Vecsey

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Christopher (Chris) Vecsey

Harry Emerson Fosdick Professor of the Humanities and Native American Studies in the Department of Religion

Department/Office Information

Religion, Native American Studies
303 Lawrence Hall
  • MW 10:00am - 1:15pm (303 Lawrence Hall)

I have devoted my scholarly life to understanding American Indian religion, history, and culture. Colgate has supported my research generously and a generation of Colgate students has shared in my commitment to Native American studies.

  • BA, Hunter College, 1970
  • MA (1971), PhD (1977), Northwestern University

Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 1976-82

  • American Indian religions
  • American religious history
  • American Indian studies
  • Contemporary religious developments
  • Traditional American Indian religions
  • American Indian Christianity
  • American music history, journalism, and religion

Author, Books

  • Jews and Judaism in The New York Times (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., 2013)
  • Following 9/11. Religion Coverage in the New York Times (Syracuse University Press, 2011)
  • Where the Two Roads Meet (University of Notre Dame Press, 1999) 
  • The Paths of Kateri's Kin (University of Notre Dame Press, 1997)
  • On the Padres' Trail (University of Notre Dame Press, 1996)
  • Imagine Ourselves Richly (Crossroads, 1988, HarperSanFrancisco, 1991)
  • Traditional Ojibwa Religion and Its Historical Changes (American Philosophical Society, 1983)


Editor, Books

  • Women and Religion, Philosophy and Feminism. The Colgate Heritage in Honor of Professors Marilyn The and Wanda Warren Berry (Colgate University Press, 2019)
  • Native Footsteps Along the Path of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, co-editor (Marquette University Press, 2012)
  • The Crossing of Two Roads. Being Catholic and Native in the United States, co-editor (Orbis Books: 2003)
  • Handbook of American Indian Religious Freedom, editor (Crossroads, 1991)
  • Religion in Native North America, editor (University of Idaho Press, 1990)
  • Iroquois Land Claims, co-editor (Syracuse University Press, 1988)
  • The Study of American Indian Religions, editor (Crossroads, 1983)
  • Belief and Worship in Native North America, editor (Syracuse University Press, 1981)
  • American Indian Environments, co-editor (Syracuse University Press, 1980)

Author, Articles

  • Numerous articles in various publications, including Commonweal, Christian Century, Journal of Religion in Africa, Journal of Religious Ethics, American Indian Quarterly, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Papers of the Society of Algonquianists, Temenos, and U.S. Catholic Historian


Editor, Journal

  • American Indian Quarterly, editor, special issue on American Indian religions (1983)


Series Editor, The Iroquois and Their Neighbors, Syracuse University Press

  • Melissa Otis, Rural Indigenousness.  A History of Iroquoian and Algonquian Peoples of the Adirondacks (2018)
  • Laurence M. Hauptman,  An Oneida Indian in Foreign Waters.  The Life of Chief Chapman Scanandoah, 1870-1953 (2016)
  • Keith R. Burich,  The Thomas Indian School and the “Irredeemable” Children of New York (2016)
  • Chief Irving Powless, Jr.  Who Are These People Anyway?, ed. Lesley Forrester (2016)
  • Jack Rossen, ed., Corey Village and the Cayuga World.  Implications from Archaeology and Beyond (2015)
  • Kristina Ackley and Cristina Stanciu, eds., Laura Cornelius Kellogg. Our Democracy and the American Indian and Other Works (2015)
  • Penelope Myrtle Kelsey, Reading the Wampum.  Essays on Honinöhsö:ni’ Visual Code and Epistemological Recovery (2014)
  • Laurence M. Hauptman,  In the Shadow of Kinzua.  The Seneca Nation of Indians since World War II (2014)
  • Kees-Jan Waterman and J. Michael Smith, eds.  Munsee Indian Trade in Ulster County, New York, 1712-1732 (2013)
  • Brian Rice, The Rotinonshonni.  A Traditional Iroquoian History Through the Eyes of Teharonhia:wako and Sawiskera (2013)
  • Anthony Wonderley, At the Font of the Marvelous.  Exploring Oral Narrative and Mythic Imagery of the Iroquois and Their Neighbors (2009)
  • Wendy Makoons Geniusz, Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive.  Decolonizing Botanical Anishinaabe Teachings (2009)
  • Laurence M. Hauptman, Seven Generations of Iroquois Leadership.  The Six Nations Since 1800 (2008)
  • Eric L. Gansworth, A Half-Life of Cardio-Pulmonary Function:  Poems and Paintings (2008)
  • Jordan E. Kerber, ed., Archaeology of the Iroquois. Selected Readings & Research Sources (2007)
  • Thomas S. Abler, Cornplanter.  Chief Warrior of the Allegany Senecas (2007)
  • Ted C. Williams, Big Medicine from Six Nations (2007)
  • John A Strong, The Montauket Indians of Eastern Long Island (2006)
  • Granville Ganter, ed., The Collected Speeches of Sagoyewatha, or Red Jacket (2006)
  • Anthony Wonderley, Oneida Iroquois Folklore, Myth and History.  New York Oral Narrative from the Notes of H. E. Allen and Others (2004)
  • William Engelbrecht, Iroquoia.  The Development of a Native World (2003)
  • NEH Summer Fellow
  • Association of American Colleges Project QUILL
  • Canadian Studies Faculty Enrichment Grant
  • American Philosophical Society
  • Phillips Fund grant
  • W.K. Kellogg grant

Religion, Reported in The New York Times: Articles, 1970-2001

See "Using the News to Teach Religion," Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, PBS: Thirteen/WNET