the limits of meaning case studies in the anthropology of christianity

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The Limits Of Meaning

Author : Matthew Eric Engelke
ISBN : 1845451708
Genre : Religion
File Size : 87. 12 MB
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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.

In God S Image

Author : Matt Tomlinson
ISBN : UCSC:32106019857942
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 59. 16 MB
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Today, most indigenous Fijians are Christians, and the Methodist Church is the foundation of their social and political lives. Yet, as this thought-provoking study of life on rural Kadavu Island finds, Fijians also believe that their ancestors possessed an inherent strength that is lacking in the present day. Looking in particular at the interaction between the church and the traditional chiefly system, Matt Tomlinson finds that this belief about the superiority of the past provokes great anxiety, and that Fijians seek ways of recovering this strength through ritual and political action--Christianity itself simultaneously generates a sense of loss and the means of recuperation. To unravel the cultural dynamics of Christianity in Fiji, Tomlinson explores how this loss is expressed through everyday language and practices.

Realness Through Mediating Body

Author : Oleg Dik
ISBN : 9783847007197
Genre : Religion
File Size : 87. 23 MB
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After the end of the civil war in 1990, the Charismatic/Pentecostal (C/P) movement in Beirut spread across various Christian denominations. C/P believers narrated how Jesus became real to them via the experience of the Holy Spirit. The author explains this impression of realness through embodiment. Ritual practices like testimony and experience of divine agency are experienced as fullness within a post war society and are extended into the every day sphere. This ethnographic account represents the beginning research of C/P Christianity’s emergence in the Middle East and its contribution to social change.

Christianity Islam And Orisa Religion

Author : J.D.Y. Peel
ISBN : 9780520961227
Genre : HISTORY
File Size : 52. 42 MB
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A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s open access publishing program for monographs. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more. The Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria are exceptional for the copresence among them of three religious traditions: Islam, Christianity, and the indigenous orisa religion. In this comparative study, at once historical and anthropological, Peel explores the intertwined character of the three religions and the dense imbrication of religion in all aspects of Yoruba history up to the present. For over 400 years, the Yoruba have straddled two geocultural spheres: one reaching north over the Sahara to the world of Islam, the other linking them to the Euro-American world via the Atlantic. These two external spheres were the source of contrasting cultural influences, notably those emanating from the world religions. However, the Yoruba not only imported Islam and Christianity but also exported their own orisa religion to the New World. Before the voluntary modern diaspora that has brought many Yoruba to Europe and the Americas, tens of thousands were sold as slaves in the New World, bringing with them the worship of the orisa. Peel offers deep insight into important contemporary themes such as religious conversion, new religious movements, relations between world religions, the conditions of religious violence, the transnational flows of contemporary religion, and the interplay between tradition and the demands of an ever-changing present. In the process, he makes a major theoretical contribution to the anthropology of world religions.

Christian Politics In Oceania

Author : Matt Tomlinson
ISBN : 9780857457462
Genre : Religion
File Size : 37. 2 MB
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The phrase “Christian politics” evokes two meanings: political relations between denominations in one direction, and the contributions of Christian churches to debates about the governing of society. The contributors to this volume address Christian politics in both senses and argue that Christianity is always and inevitably political in the Pacific Islands. Drawing on ethnographic and historical research in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Fiji, the authors argue that Christianity and politics have redefined each other in much of Oceania in ways that make the two categories inseparable at any level of analysis. The individual chapters vividly illuminate the ways in which Christian politics operate across a wide scale, from interpersonal relations to national and global interconnections.

The Anthropology Of Christianity

Author : Fenella Cannell
ISBN : 9780822388159
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52. 1 MB
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This collection provides vivid ethnographic explorations of particular, local Christianities as they are experienced by different groups around the world. At the same time, the contributors, all anthropologists, rethink the vexed relationship between anthropology and Christianity. As Fenella Cannell contends in her powerful introduction, Christianity is the critical “repressed” of anthropology. To a great extent, anthropology first defined itself as a rational, empirically based enterprise quite different from theology. The theology it repudiated was, for the most part, Christian. Cannell asserts that anthropological theory carries within it ideas profoundly shaped by this rejection. Because of this, anthropology has been less successful in considering Christianity as an ethnographic object than it has in considering other religions. This collection is designed to advance a more subtle and less self-limiting anthropological study of Christianity. The contributors examine the contours of Christianity among diverse groups: Catholics in India, the Philippines, and Bolivia, and Seventh-Day Adventists in Madagascar; the Swedish branch of Word of Life, a charismatic church based in the United States; and Protestants in Amazonia, Melanesia, and Indonesia. Highlighting the wide variation in what it means to be Christian, the contributors reveal vastly different understandings and valuations of conversion, orthodoxy, Scripture, the inspired word, ritual, gifts, and the concept of heaven. In the process they bring to light how local Christian practices and beliefs are affected by encounters with colonialism and modernity, by the opposition between Catholicism and Protestantism, and by the proximity of other religions and belief systems. Together the contributors show that it not sufficient for anthropologists to assume that they know in advance what the Christian experience is; each local variation must be encountered on its own terms. Contributors. Cecilia Busby, Fenella Cannell, Simon Coleman, Peter Gow, Olivia Harris, Webb Keane, Eva Keller, David Mosse, Danilyn Rutherford, Christina Toren, Harvey Whitehouse

The Empty Seashell

Author : Nils Bubandt
ISBN : 9780801471964
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 21. 93 MB
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The Empty Seashell explores what it is like to live in a world where cannibal witches are undeniably real, yet too ephemeral and contradictory to be an object of belief. In a book based on more than three years of fieldwork between 1991 and 2011, Nils Bubandt argues that cannibal witches for people in the coastal, and predominantly Christian, community of Buli in the Indonesian province of North Maluku are both corporeally real and fundamentally unknowable. Witches (known as gua in the Buli language or as suanggi in regional Malay) appear to be ordinary humans but sometimes, especially at night, they take other forms and attack people in order to kill them and eat their livers. They are seemingly everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The reality of gua, therefore, can never be pinned down. The title of the book comes from the empty nautilus shells that regularly drift ashore around Buli village. Convention has it that if you find a live nautilus, you are a gua. Like the empty shells, witchcraft always seems to recede from experience. Bubandt begins the book by recounting his own confusion and frustration in coming to terms with the contradictory and inaccessible nature of witchcraft realities in Buli. A detailed ethnography of the encompassing inaccessibility of Buli witchcraft leads him to the conclusion that much of the anthropological literature, which views witchcraft as a system of beliefs with genuine explanatory power, is off the mark. Witchcraft for the Buli people doesn't explain anything. In fact, it does the opposite: it confuses, obfuscates, and frustrates. Drawing upon Jacques Derrida’s concept of aporia—an interminable experience that remains continuously in doubt—Bubandt suggests the need to take seriously people’s experiential and epistemological doubts about witchcraft, and outlines, by extension, a novel way of thinking about witchcraft and its relation to modernity.

In God S Image

Author : Matthew Akim Tomlinson
ISBN : 0520943686
Genre : Religion
File Size : 85. 7 MB
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Today, most indigenous Fijians are Christians, and the Methodist Church is the foundation of their social and political lives. Yet, as this thought-provoking study of life on rural Kadavu Island finds, Fijians also believe that their ancestors possessed an inherent strength that is lacking in the present day. Looking in particular at the interaction between the church and the traditional chiefly system, Matt Tomlinson finds that this belief about the superiority of the past provokes great anxiety, and that Fijians seek ways of recovering this strength through ritual and political action—Christianity itself simultaneously generates a sense of loss and the means of recuperation. To unravel the cultural dynamics of Christianity in Fiji, Tomlinson explores how this loss is expressed through everyday language and practices.

Anthropos

Author :
ISBN : NWU:35556039813183
Genre : Ethnology
File Size : 73. 98 MB
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Flows Of Faith

Author : Lenore Manderson
ISBN : 9789400729322
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 76. 74 MB
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Unique local transformations of the practice of established religions in Asia and the Pacific are juxtaposed with the emergence of new religious movements whose incidence is growing across the region. In Flows of Faith, the contributing authors take as their starting point questions of how religions manifest outside their cultural boundaries and provide the basis for new social identities, political movements and social transformations. With fresh insights into the globalization of beliefs, their local inflections, and their institutionalization, the authors explore how old and new religions work in different settings, and how their reception and membership challenge orthodox understandings of religion and culture. The chapters – set in Asia, the Pacific, Australia, and the US – illustrate the contrasts and commonalities of these belief systems, and their allegiances and networks in the region and beyond. They include new religious movements – Falun Gong, Brahma Kumaris, the Hare Krishna movement, based in East and South Asia with outreach posts in Australia and the U.S. – and established ‘old’ religions – Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam – that are revitalized and recreated in different settings and places. Flows of Faith describes the transnational reaches of faith. Religious practices and their local manifestations track the movement of peoples, through mission outreach, flight, migration, and pilgrimage. In each new setting, religions are shaped by and in turn shape political and cultural forces, proving that they are resilient and generative, originary and distinctive. The volume is a major contribution, providing readers with a fresh and creative approach into the living experience of religious communities in a contemporary globalised world.

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