Christian Moderns: Freedom and Fetish in the Mission Encounter
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.
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abstract actions agency agents ancestral apparent aspects authority become belief called Calvinism Calvinists century chapter Christian church claims colonial communities concept concerns context continuity contrast conversion creed culture deﬁned depends discussion distinction divine doctrine Dutch early economy effects efforts encounter enter example exchange exist expression fetishism ﬁrst followers forms freedom function give given historical human idea important individual Indonesian instance kinds language least linguistic marapu material matter means mission missionaries moral narrative nature objects offerings one’s particular past persistence persons political possible practices prayer present problem produced Protestant puriﬁcation question refer Reformed relations religion religious remain requires respect response ritual role seems semiotic semiotic form semiotic ideology sense signs sincerity social society speak speaker speech spirits Sumba Sumbanese things thought tion tradition turn Umbu understanding University West Sumba
Page 70 - APOSTLES' CREED I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord...
Page 70 - I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting, Amen.
Page 93 - CIVILIZATION, taken in its wide ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.
Page 37 - Or aught by me immutably foreseen, They trespass, authors to themselves in all, Both what they judge and what they choose...
Page 70 - Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose from the dead ; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
Page 95 - It is a harsher, and at times even painful, office of ethnography to expose the remains of crude old culture which have passed into harmful superstition, and to mark these out for destruction.
Page 76 - The first set of practices, by "translation," creates mixtures between entirely new types of beings, hybrids of nature and culture. The second, by "purification," creates two entirely distinct ontological zones: that of human beings on the one hand; that of nonhumans on the other.