Greg Johnson (PhD University of Chicago) is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is also affiliated with the Department of Ethnic Studies, the Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies, and the Center of the American West. Johnson’s research focuses on the intersection of law and religion in contexts of indigenous struggles over burial protection, repatriation, and sacred land. His work has focused primarily on Hawaiian and Native American contexts but also on emerging forms of global indigeneity. Johnson’s publications include Sacred Claims: Repatriation and Living Tradition (UVA 2007), Handbook of Indigenous Religion(s) (co-edited with Siv Ellen Kraft, Brill 2017), Irreverence and the Sacred: Critical Studies in the History of Religions (co-edited with Hugh Urban Oxford 2018), and a working manuscript entitled Religion in the Moment: Tradition, Law, and Contemporary Indigeneity. This post is drawn from an in-progress essay entitled “Domestic Bones, Foreign Land, and the Kingdom Come: Jurisdictions of Religion in Contemporary Hawai`i.”
By auto-jurisdiction, I mean to convey the ways people look past the putative authority and mechanisms of prevailing jurisdictions and, alternatively, invoke the authority of tradition as long-term grounded experience in order to construct and speak forth their legitimacy.