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A Problem Of Presence

Author: Matthew Engelke
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520249046
Size: 58.36 MB
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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 Problem Of Presence

Author: Matthew Engelke
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520940040
Size: 79.57 MB
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The Friday Masowe apostolics of Zimbabwe refer to themselves as "the Christians who don’t read the Bible." They claim they do not need the Bible because they receive the Word of God "live and direct" from the Holy Spirit. In this insightful and sensitive historical ethnography, Matthew Engelke documents how this rejection of scripture speaks to longstanding concerns within Christianity over mediation and authority. The Bible, of course, has been a key medium through which Christians have recognized God’s presence. But the apostolics perceive scripture as an unnecessary, even dangerous, mediator. For them, the materiality of the Bible marks a distance from the divine and prohibits the realization of a live and direct faith. Situating the Masowe case within a broad comparative framework, Engelke shows how their rejection of textual authority poses a problem of presence—which is to say, how the religious subject defines, and claims to construct, a relationship with the spiritual world through the semiotic potentials of language, actions, and objects. Written in a lively and accessible style, A Problem of Presence makes important contributions to the anthropology of Christianity, the history of religions in Africa, semiotics, and material culture studies.

Death In A Church Of Life

Author: Frederick Klaits
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520945840
Size: 45.71 MB
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This deeply insightful ethnography explores the healing power of caring and intimacy in a small, closely bonded Apostolic congregation during Botswana’s HIV/AIDS pandemic. Death in a Church of Life paints a vivid picture of how members of the Baitshepi Church make strenuous efforts to sustain loving relationships amid widespread illness and death. Over the course of long-term fieldwork, Frederick Klaits discovered Baitshepi’s distinctly maternal ethos and the "spiritual" kinship embodied in the church’s nurturing fellowship practice. Klaits shows that for Baitshepi members, Christian faith is a form of moral passion that counters practices of divination and witchcraft with redemptive hymn singing, prayer, and the use of therapeutic substances. An online audio annex makes available examples of the church members’ preaching and song.

God S Agents

Author: Matthew Engelke
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520280474
Size: 23.74 MB
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A study of how religion goes public in today's world. Based on over three years of anthropological research, Matthew Engelke traces how a small group of socially committed Christians tackles the challenge of publicity within what it understands to be a largely secular culture.

Moving By The Spirit

Author: Naomi Haynes
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520294254
Size: 69.33 MB
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Prologue : a breakthrough for Mr. Zulu -- Introduction : Pentecostalism as promise, Pentecostalism as problem -- Boom and bust, revival and renewal -- Making moving happen -- Becoming Pentecostal on the Copperbelt -- Ritual and the (un)making of the Pentecostal relational world -- Prosperity, charisma, and the problem of gender -- On the potential and problems of Pentecostal exchange -- Mending mother's kitchen -- The circulation of Copperbelt saints -- Conclusion : worlds that flourish

City Of God

Author: Kevin Lewis O'Neill
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520260627
Size: 17.44 MB
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"A significant study of religion and power by a probing and caring anthropologist. Full of surprising insights, City of God is a must-read for anyone concerned with the possibilities and limits of political theology in a volatile 21st century."--João Biehl, author of Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment "City of God is a rich and gracefully written ethnography of Pentecostal Christians in today's Guatemala which shows how a disciplined self, constituted in daily devotional activities, is believed to be pertinent not only for individual well-being but the soul of the nation. With its concept of 'Christian citizenship,' it is also a significant theoretical contribution to the anthropology of religion. The book deserves to be read widely by students of anthropology, Central America, Christianity and religion more generally."--Steve Caton, author of Yemen Chronicle: An Anthropology of War and Mediation "A groundbreaking ethnography of Christian citizenship and subject formation in the neo-liberal era. O'Neill focuses on what evangelical Christians in Guatemala City actually do, by way of a close study of Church ceremonies, cell group meetings, interviews, direct daily observation and close readings of the voluminous mass-media products. The result is a thoroughly innovative study of the way in which social circumstance and politics are internalized. We will be feeling the aftershocks of the movement that is so sensitively studied in this book for years to come."--Claudio Lomnitz, author of Death and the Idea of Mexico

How To Think Like An Anthropologist

Author: Matthew Engelke
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400889529
Size: 18.99 MB
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From an award-winning anthropologist, a lively accessible, and at times irreverent introduction to the subject What is anthropology? What can it tell us about the world? Why, in short, does it matter? For well over a century, cultural anthropologists have circled the globe, from Papua New Guinea to suburban England and from China to California, uncovering surprising facts and insights about how humans organize their lives and articulate their values. In the process, anthropology has done more than any other discipline to reveal what culture means--and why it matters. By weaving together examples and theories from around the world, Matthew Engelke provides a lively, accessible, and at times irreverent introduction to anthropology, covering a wide range of classic and contemporary approaches, subjects, and practitioners. Presenting a set of memorable cases, he encourages readers to think deeply about some of the key concepts with which anthropology tries to make sense of the world—from culture and nature to authority and blood. Along the way, he shows why anthropology matters: not only because it helps us understand other cultures and points of view but also because, in the process, it reveals something about ourselves and our own cultures, too.

Fado Resounding

Author: Lila Ellen Gray
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 082237885X
Size: 74.61 MB
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Fado, Portugal's most celebrated genre of popular music, can be heard in Lisbon clubs, concert halls, tourist sites, and neighborhood bars. Fado sounds traverse the globe, on internationally marketed recordings, as the "soul" of Lisbon. A fadista might sing until her throat hurts, the voice hovering on the break of a sob; in moments of sung beauty listeners sometimes cry. Providing an ethnographic account of Lisbon's fado scene, Lila Ellen Gray draws on research conducted with amateur fado musicians, fadistas, communities of listeners, poets, fans, and cultural brokers during the first decade of the twenty-first century. She demonstrates the power of music to transform history and place into feeling in a rapidly modernizing nation on Europe's periphery, a country no longer a dictatorship or an imperial power. Gray emphasizes the power of the genre to absorb sounds, memories, histories, and styles and transform them into new narratives of meaning and "soul."

The Anthropology Of Christianity

Author: Fenella Cannell
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822388154
Size: 80.73 MB
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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