×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Anthropology of Christianity
     

The Anthropology of Christianity

by Fenella Cannell, Olivia Harris, Cecilia Busby, David Mosse
 

See All Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0822336081

ISBN-13: 9780822336082

Pub. Date: 11/07/2006

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

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

Overview

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822336082
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
11/07/2006
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
62.50(w) x 92.50(h) x 1.25(d)

Table of Contents

1. The Eternal Return of Conversion: Christianity as Contested Domain in Highland Bolivia / Olivia Harris 51

2. Renewable Icons: Concepts of Religious Power in a Fishing Village in South India / Cecilia Busby 77

3. Possession and Confession: Affliction and Sacred Power in Colonial and Contemporary Catholic South India / David Mosse 99

4. Reading as Gift and Writing as Theft / Fenella Cannell 134

5. Materializing the Self: Words and Gifts in the Construction of Charismatic Protestant Identity / Simon Coleman 163

6. The Effectiveness of Ritual / Christina Toren 185

7. Forgetting Conversion: The Summer Institute of Linguistics Mission in the Piro Lived World / Peter Gow 211

8. The Bible Meets the Idol: Writing and Conversion in Biak, Irian Jaya, Indonesia / Danilyn Rutherford 240

9. Scripture Study as Normal Science: Seventh-Day Adventist Practice on the East Coast of Madagascar / Eva Keller 273

10. Appropriated and Monolithic Christianity in Melanesia / Harvey Whitehouse 295

Epilogue: Anxious Transcendence / Webb Keane 308

References 325

Contributors 353

Index 355

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction. The Anthropology of Christianity / Fenella Cannell 1

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews