The Anthropology of Christianity

Author: Fenella Cannell

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822336464

Category: Religion

Page: 373

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Ethnographies exploring the vastly different ways that Christianity is experienced and understood by different groups around the world.

The Limits of Meaning

Case Studies in the Anthropology of Christianity

Author: Matthew Eric Engelke,Matt Tomlinson

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 9781845451707

Category: Religion

Page: 239

View: 2963

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Too often, anthropological accounts of ritual leave readers with the impression that everything goes smoothly, that rituals are "meaningful events." But what happens when rituals fail, or when they seem "meaningless"? Drawing on research in the anthropology of Christianity from around the globe, the authors in this volume suggest that in order to analyze meaning productively, we need to consider its limits. This collection is a welcome new addition to the anthropology of religion, offering fresh debates on a classic topic and drawing attention to meaning in a way that other volumes have for key terms like "culture" and "fieldwork.

The Anthropology of Protestantism

Faith and Crisis among Scottish Fishermen

Author: Joseph Webster

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137336544

Category: Social Science

Page: 244

View: 7137

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Through his ethnographic study of the fishermen and their religious beliefs, Webster speaks to larger debates about religious radicalism, materiality, economy, language, and the symbolic. These debates also call into question assumptions about the decline of religion in modern industrial societies.

Christian Moderns

Freedom and Fetish in the Mission Encounter

Author: Webb Keane

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520939219

Category: Religion

Page: 336

View: 4572

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Across much of the postcolonial world, Christianity has often become inseparable from ideas and practices linking the concept of modernity to that of human emancipation. To explore these links, Webb Keane undertakes a rich ethnographic study of the century-long encounter, from the colonial Dutch East Indies to post-independence Indonesia, among Calvinist missionaries, their converts, and those who resist conversion. Keane's analysis of their struggles over such things as prayers, offerings, and the value of money challenges familiar notions about agency. Through its exploration of language, materiality, and morality, this book illuminates a wide range of debates in social and cultural theory. It demonstrates the crucial place of Christianity in semiotic ideologies of modernity and sheds new light on the importance of religion in colonial and postcolonial histories.

The Anthropology of Global Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism

Author: Simon Coleman,Rosalind I. J. Hackett

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814772609

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 2813

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The phenomenal growth of Pentecostalism and evangelicalism around the world in recent decades has forced us to rethink what it means to be religious and what it means to be global. The success of these religious movements has revealed tensions and resonances between the public and the private, the religious and the cultural, and the local and the global. This volume provides a wide ranging and accessible, as well as ethnographically rich, perspective on what has become a truly global religious trend, one that is challenging conventional analytical categories within the social sciences. This book informs students and seasoned scholars alike about the character of Pentecostalism and evangelicalism not only as they have spread across the globe, but also as they have become global movements. Adopting a broadly anthropological approach, the chapters synthesize the existing literature on Pentecostalism and evangelicalism even as they offer new analyses and critiques. They show how the study of Pentecostalism and evangelicalism provides a fresh way to approach classic anthropological themes; they contest the frequent characterization of these movements as conservative religious, social, and political forces; and they argue that Pentecostalism and evangelicalism are significant not least because they encourage us to reflect on the intersections of politics, materiality, morality and law. Ultimately, the volume leaves us with a clear sense of the cultural and social power, as well as the theoretical significance, of forms of Christianity that we can no longer afford to ignore.

The Anthropology of Religious Conversion

Author: Andrew Buckser,Stephen D. Glazier

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780742517783

Category: Religion

Page: 236

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This text paints a picture of conversion far more complex than its customary image in anthropology and religious studies.

The Anthropology of Catholicism

A Reader

Author: Kristin Norget

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520963369

Category: Social Science

Page: 384

View: 6780

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Aimed at a wide audience of readers, The Anthropology of Catholicism is the first companion guide to this burgeoning field within the anthropology of Christianity. Bringing to light Catholicism’s long but comparatively ignored presence within the discipline of anthropology, the book introduces readers to key studies in the field, as well as to current analyses on the present and possible futures of Catholicism globally. This reader provides both ethnographic material and theoretical reflections on Catholicism around the world, demonstrating how a revised anthropology of Catholicism can generate new insights and analytical frameworks that will impact anthropology as well as other disciplines.

Spirits of Protestantism

Medicine, Healing, and Liberal Christianity

Author: Pamela E. Klassen

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520950445

Category: Religion

Page: 348

View: 7576

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Spirits of Protestantism reveals how liberal Protestants went from being early-twentieth-century medical missionaries seeking to convert others through science and scripture, to becoming vocal critics of missionary arrogance who experimented with non-western healing modes such as Yoga and Reiki. Drawing on archival and ethnographic sources, Pamela E. Klassen shows how and why the very notion of healing within North America has been infused with a Protestant "supernatural liberalism." In the course of coming to their changing vision of healing, liberal Protestants became pioneers three times over: in the struggle against the cultural and medical pathologizing of homosexuality; in the critique of Christian missionary triumphalism; and in the diffusion of an ever-more ubiquitous anthropology of "body, mind, and spirit." At a time when the political and anthropological significance of Christianity is being hotly debated, Spirits of Protestantism forcefully argues for a reconsideration of the historical legacies and cultural effects of liberal Protestantism, even for the anthropology of religion itself.

Studying Global Pentecostalism

Theories and Methods

Author: Michael Bergunder,A. F. Droogers,Cornelis van der Laan,Allan Anderson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520266617

Category: Religion

Page: 325

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AndrT Droogers is Professor Emeritus of Cultural Anthropology at VU University, Amsterdam --

A Problem of Presence

Beyond Scripture in an African Church

Author: Matthew Engelke

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520940040

Category: Social Science

Page: 321

View: 6417

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The Friday Masowe apostolics of Zimbabwe refer to themselves as "the Christians who don’t read the Bible." They claim they do not need the Bible because they receive the Word of God "live and direct" from the Holy Spirit. In this insightful and sensitive historical ethnography, Matthew Engelke documents how this rejection of scripture speaks to longstanding concerns within Christianity over mediation and authority. The Bible, of course, has been a key medium through which Christians have recognized God’s presence. But the apostolics perceive scripture as an unnecessary, even dangerous, mediator. For them, the materiality of the Bible marks a distance from the divine and prohibits the realization of a live and direct faith. Situating the Masowe case within a broad comparative framework, Engelke shows how their rejection of textual authority poses a problem of presence—which is to say, how the religious subject defines, and claims to construct, a relationship with the spiritual world through the semiotic potentials of language, actions, and objects. Written in a lively and accessible style, A Problem of Presence makes important contributions to the anthropology of Christianity, the history of religions in Africa, semiotics, and material culture studies.

Critical Christianity

Translation and Denominational Conflict in Papua New Guinea

Author: Courtney Handman

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520283759

Category: Religion

Page: 328

View: 6013

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In Critical Christianity, Courtney Handman analyzes the complex and conflicting forms of sociality that Guhu-Samane Christians of rural Papua New Guinea privilege and celebrate as “the body of Christ.” Within Guhu-Samane churches, processes of denominational schism—long relegated to the secular study of politics or identity—are moments of critique through which Christians constitute themselves and their social worlds. Far from being a practice of individualism, Protestantism offers local people ways to make social groups sacred units of critique. Bible translation, produced by members of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, is a crucial resource for these critical projects of religious formation. From early interaction with German Lutheran missionaries to engagements with the Summer Institute of Linguistics to the contemporary moment of conflict, Handman presents some of the many models of Christian sociality that are debated among Guhu-Samane Christians. Central to the study are Handman's rich analyses of the media through which this critical Christian sociality is practiced, including language, sound, bodily movement, and everyday objects. This original and thought-provoking book is essential reading for students and scholars of anthropology and religious studies.

City of God

Christian Citizenship in Postwar Guatemala

Author: Kevin Lewis O'Neill

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520260627

Category: Religion

Page: 278

View: 8578

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"A significant study of religion and power by a probing and caring anthropologist. Full of surprising insights, City of God is a must-read for anyone concerned with the possibilities and limits of political theology in a volatile 21st century."--João Biehl, author of Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment "City of God is a rich and gracefully written ethnography of Pentecostal Christians in today's Guatemala which shows how a disciplined self, constituted in daily devotional activities, is believed to be pertinent not only for individual well-being but the soul of the nation. With its concept of 'Christian citizenship,' it is also a significant theoretical contribution to the anthropology of religion. The book deserves to be read widely by students of anthropology, Central America, Christianity and religion more generally."--Steve Caton, author of Yemen Chronicle: An Anthropology of War and Mediation "A groundbreaking ethnography of Christian citizenship and subject formation in the neo-liberal era. O'Neill focuses on what evangelical Christians in Guatemala City actually do, by way of a close study of Church ceremonies, cell group meetings, interviews, direct daily observation and close readings of the voluminous mass-media products. The result is a thoroughly innovative study of the way in which social circumstance and politics are internalized. We will be feeling the aftershocks of the movement that is so sensitively studied in this book for years to come."--Claudio Lomnitz, author of Death and the Idea of Mexico

Reason to Believe

Cultural Agency in Latin American Evangelicalism

Author: David Smilde

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520249437

Category: History

Page: 262

View: 5679

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Based on fieldwork among Pentecostal men in Caracas, Venezuela, this ethnography seeks an explanation for the explosion of Evangelical Protestantism, unraveling the cultural and personal dynamics of Evangelical conversion to show how and why these men make the choice to convert, and how they come to have faith in a new system of beliefs.

To Be Cared For

The Power of Conversion and Foreignness of Belonging in an Indian Slum

Author: Nathaniel Roberts

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520288815

Category: Religion

Page: 312

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To Be Cared For offers a unique view into the conceptual and moral world of slum-bound Dalits (“untouchables”) in the South Indian city of Chennai. Focusing on the decision by many women to embrace locally specific forms of Pentecostal Christianity, Nathaniel Roberts challenges dominant anthropological understandings of religion as a matter of culture and identity, as well as Indian nationalist narratives of Christianity as a “foreign” ideology that disrupts local communities. Far from being a divisive force, conversion integrates the slum community—Christians and Hindus alike—by addressing hidden moral fault lines that subtly pit residents against one another in a national context that renders Dalits outsiders in their own land."

Christianity in the Local Context

Southern Baptists in the Philippines

Author: B. Howell

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 0230613853

Category: Social Science

Page: 253

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In three congregations, representing three distinct social locations, Howell goes beneath the surface to argue that even with these Western forms, these Filipino Baptists are actively constructing themselves and the locality itself in terms of this global faith they have made their own.

Death in a Church of Life

Moral Passion during Botswana’s Time of AIDS

Author: Frederick Klaits

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520945840

Category: Religion

Page: 368

View: 6341

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This deeply insightful ethnography explores the healing power of caring and intimacy in a small, closely bonded Apostolic congregation during Botswana’s HIV/AIDS pandemic. Death in a Church of Life paints a vivid picture of how members of the Baitshepi Church make strenuous efforts to sustain loving relationships amid widespread illness and death. Over the course of long-term fieldwork, Frederick Klaits discovered Baitshepi’s distinctly maternal ethos and the "spiritual" kinship embodied in the church’s nurturing fellowship practice. Klaits shows that for Baitshepi members, Christian faith is a form of moral passion that counters practices of divination and witchcraft with redemptive hymn singing, prayer, and the use of therapeutic substances. An online audio annex makes available examples of the church members’ preaching and song.

Holy Hustlers, Schism, and Prophecy

Apostolic Reformation in Botswana

Author: Richard Werbner

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520949463

Category: Social Science

Page: 268

View: 9994

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This book examines the charismatic Christian reformation presently underway in Botswana’s time of AIDS and the moral crisis that divides the church between the elders and the young, apostolic faith healers. Richard Werbner focuses on Eloyi, an Apostolic faith-healing church in Botswana’s capital. Werbner shows how charismatic "prophets"—holy hustlers—diagnose, hustle, and shock patients during violent and destructive exorcisms. He also shows how these healers enter into prayer and meditation and take on their patients’ pain and how their ecstatic devotions create an aesthetic in which beauty beckons God. Werbner challenges theoretical assumptions about mimesis and empathy, the power of the word, and personhood. With its accompanying DVD, Holy Hustlers, Schism, and Prophecy integrates textual and filmed ethnography and provides a fresh perspective on ritual performance and the cinematic.

The Stranger at the Feast

Prohibition and Mediation in an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Community

Author: Tom Boylston

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520296494

Category: Religion

Page: 200

View: 7464

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"The Stranger at the Feast is the first full-length ethnographic study of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. Based on two years of field study on the Zege peninsula on Lake Tana between 2008 and 2014, the book follows the material relationships by which Ethiopian Orthodox Christians relate to God, each other, and the material environment. It shows how religious life in Zege is based around a ritual ecology of prohibition and mediation in which fasting and avoidance practices are necessary in order to make the material world fit for religious life. The book traces how religious feeding and fasting practices have been the idiom through which Christians in Zege have understood the turbulent political changes of recent decades"--Provided by publisher.

Moving by the Spirit

Pentecostal Social Life on the Zambian Copperbelt

Author: Naomi Haynes

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520294254

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 7571

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Prologue : a breakthrough for Mr. Zulu -- Introduction : Pentecostalism as promise, Pentecostalism as problem -- Boom and bust, revival and renewal -- Making moving happen -- Becoming Pentecostal on the Copperbelt -- Ritual and the (un)making of the Pentecostal relational world -- Prosperity, charisma, and the problem of gender -- On the potential and problems of Pentecostal exchange -- Mending mother's kitchen -- The circulation of Copperbelt saints -- Conclusion : worlds that flourish