Becoming Sinners: Christianity and Moral Torment in a Papua New Guinea Society

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University of California Press, Apr 12, 2004 - Religion - 410 pages
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In a world of swift and sweeping cultural transformations, few have seen changes as rapid and dramatic as those experienced by the Urapmin of Papua New Guinea in the last four decades. A remote people never directly "missionized," the Urapmin began in the 1960s to send young men to study with Baptist missionaries living among neighboring communities. By the late 1970s, the Urapmin had undergone a charismatic revival, abandoning their traditional religion for a Christianity intensely focused on human sinfulness and driven by a constant sense of millennial expectation. Exploring the Christian culture of the Urapmin, Joel Robbins shows how its preoccupations provide keys to understanding the nature of cultural change more generally. In so doing, he offers one of the richest available anthropological accounts of Christianity as a lived religion. Theoretically ambitious and engagingly written, his book opens a unique perspective on a Melanesian society, religious experience, and the very nature of rapid cultural change.
 

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Contents

A Heavy Christmas and a Pig Law for People
xxi
Christianity and Cultural Change
5
The Making of a Christian Community
47
From Salt to the Law Contact and the Early Colonial Period
49
Christianity and the Colonial Transformation of Regional Relations
88
Revival SecondStage Conversion and the Localization of the Urapmin Church
126
Living in Sin
159
Contemporary Urapmin in Millennial Time and Space
161
Desire and Its Discontents free Time and Christian Morality
219
Rituals of Redemption and Technologies of the Self
257
Millennialism and the Contest of Values
293
Christianity Cultural Change and the Moral Life of the Hybrid
317
Notes
339
References
355
Index
381
Copyright

Willfulness Lawfulness and Urapmin Morality
186

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Page 11 - ... structure of the conjuncture." By the "structure of the conjuncture" I mean the practical realization of the cultural categories in a specific historical context, as expressed in the interested action of the historic agents, including the microsociology of their interaction.

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About the author (2004)

Joel Robbins is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. He is coeditor of Money and Modernity: State and Local Currencies in Contemporary Melanesia (1999) and of the journal Anthropological Theory.

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