City of God: Christian Citizenship in Postwar Guatemala / Edition 1

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In Guatemala City today, Christianity isn't just belief system-it is a counter-insurgency. Amidst postwar efforts at democratization, multinational, megachurches have conquered street corners and kitchen tables, guiding the faithful to build a sanctified city brick by brick. Drawing on rich interviews, Kevin Lewis O'Neill tracks the culture and politics of one such church, looking at how neo-Pentecostal Christian practices have become acts of citizenship in a new, politically relevant era for Protestantism. Focusing on everyday practices-praying for Guatemala, speaking in tongues for the soul of the crime-O'Neill finds that Christian citizenship has repoliticized the faithful as they struggle to understand what it means to be a believer in a desperately violent Central American city.

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Editorial Reviews


“Provides a rich perspective on the diversity of Christian conceptualizations of citizenship.”
The Americas - David Stoll

“O’Neill has a fine eye for urban Guatemalan existence.”
American Ethnologist - Anthony Shenoda

"City of God [is] an important contribution that is provocative, engaging, and challenging all at once."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520260634
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 12/22/2009
  • Series: Anthropology of Christianity Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Lewis O'Neill is Assistant Professor in the University of Toronto's Department and Centre for the Study of Religion and the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies. He is coeditor, with Alex Laban Hinton, of Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

preface XIII

City of God: An Introduction 1

1 Shouldering the Weight: The Promise of Citizenship 31

2 Policing the Soul: The Cellular Construction of Christian Citizenship 60

3 Onward, Christian Soldier: Solitary Responsibility and Spiritual Warfare 87

4 The Founding Fathers: The Problem of Fatherhood and the Generational Imagination 115

5 Hands of Love: Christian Charity and the Place of the Indigenous 143

6 Cities of God: International Theologies of Citizenship 170

Disappointment: A Conclusion 199

Notes 215

Bibliography 243

Index 271

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