A Problem of Presence: Beyond Scripture in an African Church

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University of California Press, 2007 - Religion - 304 pages
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Matthew Engelke has crafted a fascinating, insightful, and sensitive study of the ways in which the Friday Masowe attempt to achieve religious transcendence. Drawing thoughtfully on the findings of other researchers across a wide spectrum of sociological and theological contexts, "A Problem of Presence" makes a valuable contribution to the comparative study of Christianity, and to the anthropology of religion in general. Webb Keane, author of "Christian Moderns: Freedom and Fetish in the Mission Encounter"
In this impressive work, Engelke describes the Friday Masowe of Zimbabwe with real ethnographic sensitivity and adds wide resonance through authoritative and unpretentious theoretical elaboration. "A Problem of Presence" is a model of how to make an apparently oblique socio-cultural phenomenon illuminate very wide problems, without sacrificing ethnographic complexity and texture. James Clifford, author of "The Predicament of Culture"
"A beautifully written book. Engelke creates a new ethnographic field, that of biblical publicity, by following its ambitions in the high street, in politics, and in a Christian think-tank. He forces ussubtly but firmlyto rethink the location of religion in post-secular England and beyond."""Simon Coleman, University of Toronto

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About the author (2007)

Matthew Engelke is a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at London School of Economics and Political Science.

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