Date of Award

December 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Philip P. Arnold

Second Advisor

Zachary Braiterman


Blood, Ethnography, Genocide, Haudenosaunee, Onondaga Nation, Theology

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


Volunteering at the Onondaga Nation School and collaborating with Chief Jacobs has exposed me to a new and subversive underbelly of American political and religious life. Working on sovereign Native land also provided valuable on the ground experience in Onondaga language and Haudenosaunee culture - food, humor, lacrosse, art, ceremony, government, education etc. Throughout my tenure at Onondaga I have used comparison as the backdrop for my experiences collaborating with Native peoples as well as the methodological backbone for this dissertation project.

My dissertation project, Brothers in Blood: the Significance of Land and Loss in the Creation of Jewish and Native American Ethnic and Religious Identity, represents an educational union between Syracuse University and the Onondaga Nation School as much as it explores the historical, theological and political interfaces between American Jews and American Indians. I argue that while the historical maintenance of a social-religious identity, outside a theological context, has caused patterns of Jewish and Native American identity creation to overlap and intersect the incongruities in the lived experiences of Jews in the United States and Natives in the United States arise from competing Jewish, Christian, and Native American orientations to religion, land, and community. Through the prisms of blood, genocide and theology my dissertation examines the interfaces between American Jews and American Indians as they converge and coalesce around patterns of religion, racism and anti-Semitism. Furthermore, I illustrate how these intersections can serve as a nexus for looking at the formation of race and ethnicity in the United States.


Open Access