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Mini-Colloquy on the Doctrine of Discovery with John Lee

March 25 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 pm


The 2023 Convocation with Mark Charles on the Destructive Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery raised participants’ interest in further study of how this theological and legal doctrine was and is used to deprive indigenous peoples of their lands and rights in the name of white, Christian colonization. This is one of two followup events this Spring to address historical and theological responses.

On Saturday, March 25, the Reformed Institute will host a mini-Colloquy with Dr. John Lee of the John Leland Seminary and Rock Presbyterian Church on The Doctrine of Discovery and Its Implications for Reformed Christians. This colloquy will examine the theological grounding for this “doctrine” as well as how this doctrine was legally used to exploit Native Americans and their lands. In light of this discussion, we will also reflect together on how we as Reformed believers should respond to the injustices that followed in the wake of this doctrine. We will study two texts in detail (plus reference one recommended text), to be read ahead of time. Please find these texts and study them before the course:

  1. Read: Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery by Mark Charles and Soong Chan Rah
  2. Read: The Doctrine of Discovery: A Review of Its Origins and Implications for Congregations in the PC(USA) and Support for Native American Sovereignty Report to the 223rd General Assembly (2018). (Online here
  3. Recommended: Conquest by Law: How the Discovery of America Dispossessed Indigenous Peoples of Their Lands by Lindsay G. Robertson

RSVP below. Virtual attendance is possible for those not in the area or unable to attend in person.


March 25
9:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:


Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington


National Presbyterian Church
4101 Nebraska Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016 United States
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(202) 537-0800
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