Chua, “The Christianity of Culture”

November 10, 2011

Chua, Liana. 2012. The Christianity of Culture: Conversion, Ethnic Citizenship, and the Matter of Religion in Borneo. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Publisher’s Description: In recent years, anthropologists have increasingly viewed Christian conversion as a form of rupture from the past. But what happens if the people with whom they work begin to speak a language of continuity and sameness with that past? In this richly contextualized study, Liana Chua explores how a largely Christian Bidayuh community has been reconfiguring its relationship to its old animist rituals through the trope and politics of “culture.” Placing her ethnography in dialogue with developments in the nascent anthropology of Christianity, Chua argues that such efforts at “continuity speaking” are the product not only of Malaysian cultural politics, but also of conversion and Christianity itself. This book invites scholars to rethink the nature and scope of conversion, as well as the multifarious, yet distinctive, forms that Christianity can take.

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