The Doctrine of Discovery was a set of royal and papal declarations in the sixteenth century that created the rationale for European Christians to seize the lands of the Western hemisphere and displace the peoples who had inhabited them for millennia. These actions that were set in motion by the Doctrine of Discovery led to the deaths of millions of people who had called these lands “home” long before Europeans set foot on them.
The resources in the right-hand column provide additional background information about the history of the Doctrine of Discovery and the actions taken by the 2016 Rocky Mountain Synod and ELCA Churchwide Assemblies.
The toolkit has been created to support the commitments made by the 2016 Rocky Mountain Synod and Churchwide Assemblies, and the continued work of the 2018 Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly, to deepen our repudiation of this doctrine and work toward greater justice and conciliation.
Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery: A Journey Toward Transformation