The Sacred Pipe
An Archetypal Theology
Paul B. Steinmetz served as a Catholic priest among the Oglala Lakota in South Dakota from 1961 to 1981. During that time, at the funeral of Rex Long Visitor in 1965, Steinmetz prayed with the Sacred Pipe as an image of Christ. This prayer was the beginning of a thirty-year journey of intellectual discovery for Steinmetz, as he discovered the true meaning of the Sacred Pipe. This book -- a combination of deep religious faith and brilliant analytic acumen -- is the result.
Steinmetz writes that the sacred pipe -- one of the most important ritual objects used by many tribes throughout North America -- can best be understood in the context of Christian theology. Steinmetz presents an extensive ethnography about the sacred pipe and demonstrates how its many associations are really images of Christ.
In order to explicate fully this archetypal synthesis intuited at Rex Long Visitor's funeral, Steinmetz draws heavily on, and critically compares, the works of Mircea Eliade, Carl Jung, and Karl Rahner.
180 pp — ©1998