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 adat agency agents Anakalang Anakalangese ancestral belief Calvinism Calvinists Catholic century chapter Christian claims colonial Comaroff concept conﬁned context contrast conversion creed culture deﬁned deﬁnition difﬁculties discourse discussion distinction divine doctrine Dutch effects efﬁcacy efforts encounter ethnographic evangelical exchange expression fetishism ﬁeld ﬁnd ﬁrst freedom function global God’s historical human iconoclasm idea identiﬁed immaterial implications inculturation individual Indonesian inﬂuence Keane Kuyper language ideology linguistic marapu followers marapu ritual material means meat mediated mission missionaries moral narrative narrative of modernity neo-orthodox objectiﬁcation objects ofﬁcial one’s Onvlee pagan past Pentecostal people’s persistence Pietist political practices prayer problem Protestant Protestant Reformation Protestantism puriﬁcation reﬂect Reformed Churches religion religious religious conversion representational economy ritual speech role sacriﬁce scriptural secular semiotic form semiotic ideology sense signiﬁcant sincerity social society speak speaker speciﬁc spirits Sumbanese tion tradition Umbu Neka’s understanding Waingapu West Sumba