Archive for November, 2012

Lindhardt, “‘We, the Youth, Need to Be Effusive’”

November 30, 2012

Lindhardt, Martin.  2012.  ‘We, the Youth, Need to Be Effusive’: Pentecostal Youth Culture in Contemporary Chile.  Bulletin of Latin American Research 31(4): 485-498.

Abstract: This paper explores the recasting of Pentecostalism as a youth religion in contemporary Chile. I focus in particular on how young native Pentecostals, whose life experiences and social status differ from those of ex-Catholic converts, address the dilemma of being exposed to the religious culture of their parents, and their congregation, and to the secular youth culture beyond the religious community. I argue that, although faced with many challenges, young Pentecostals are able to define vital roles and positions for themselves within their church and in wider society, as they engage in a creative bricolage, embracing certain aspects of globalised youth ideologies as fundamental features of their Pentecostal self-identities.

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AnthroCyBib Expands!

November 28, 2012

In October 2011 the Anthropology of Christianity Bibliographic Blog, better known as AnthroCyBib (http://anthrocybib.net),was launched as an online resource where new publications in the anthropology of Christianity are announced. This project’s inaugural year was received with substantial enthusiasm. Scholars across numerous fields have appreciated this searchable hub in their research and teaching.

Given this success, AnthroCyBib will expand its scope beginning January 2013. Along with the bibliographic function, two additional features will be added. First, we welcome requests and invitations for book reviews. By hosting single and joint review essays, AnthroCyBib can strengthen its role as a unique and valuable source aiding coherence and creativity in the development of the anthropology of Christianity. Authors and potential reviewers may contact any of the co-curators to initiate a review. Second, AnthroCyBib will begin featuring conference review reports. As evidenced by the 2012 American Anthropological Association meetings in San Francisco, panels and presentations in the anthropology of Christianity are both well-represented and well-attended. Beginning with the Society for the Anthropology of Religion meetings to be held in Pasadena, California in April 2013, a guest reporter will post a review of relevant presentations on AnthroCyBib following the conference. This is an excellent opportunity for students and established scholars alike to share reflections on the emerging work being presented in conference settings. Interested reporters may contact any of the co-curators to inquire about serving or to suggest proceedings for coverage.

We look forward to hearing from colleagues about both of these additions, and thank all those who have supported AnthroCyBib in its first year.

Your AnthroCyBib co-curators,

Jon Bialecki (University of California, San Diego; jbialecki@ucsd.edu)

James S. Bielo (Miami University; bielojs@muohio.edu)

Naomi Haynes (University of Edinburgh; Naomi.Haynes@ed.ac.uk)

Anthony Shenoda (Leiden University College; a.g.shenoda@luc.leidenuniv.nl)

O’Neill, “The Soul of Security”

November 24, 2012

O’Neill, Kevin Lewis. 2012. The Soul of Security: Christianity, Corporatism, and Control in Postwar Guatemala. Social Text 30(2):21-42.

Abstract: Amid unprecedented rates of deportation as well as an ever-growing gang problem, bilingual call centers have become viable spaces of control in postwar Guatemala. They provide deported ex–gang members with not only well-paying jobs but also a work environment structured by Protestant images and imperatives. Be humble. Be punctual. Be patient. These corporately Christian virtues minister to the deported at every turn, inviting them to assume and become subsumed by ascetic subjectivities. These are monkish dispositions that provide a vital lynchpin between the political, the economic, and the subjective. They also coordinate (at the level of conduct) projects of capitalist accumulation with efforts at regional security. This assemblage of industries and ethics, made in the name of control, is what this article understands as the soul of security.

Webster, “The Immanence of Transcendence: God and the Devil on the Aberdeenshire Coast”

November 19, 2012

Webster, Joseph. 2012. “The Immanence of Transcendence: God and the Devil on the Aberdeenshire Coast.” Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, DOI:10.1080/00141844.2012.688762 [first print – pagination, volume and issue not available].

Abstract: In Gamrie (a Scottish fishing village of 700 people and 6 Protestant churches), local experiences of ‘divine providence’ and ‘demonic attack’ abound. Bodily fluids, scraps of paper, video cassettes and prawn trawlers were immanent carriers of divine and demonic activity. Viewed through the lens of Weberian social theory, the experiences of Scottish fisher families show how the life of the Christian resembles an enchanted struggle between God and the Devil with the Christian placed awkwardly in-between. Because, locally, ‘there is no such thing as coincidence’, these Christians expected to experience both the transcendent ordering of life by divine providence through God’s immanence and the transcendent disordering of life by demonic attack through the Devil’s immanence. Where this ordering and disordering frequently occurred through everyday objects, seemingly mundane events – being given a washing machine or feeling sleepy in church – were experienced as material indexes of spiritual reality. Drawing on the work of Cannell (on transcendence), Keane (on indexicality) and Wagner (on symbolic obviation), this paper argues that attending to the materiality of Scottish Protestantism better equips the anthropology of religion to understand Christian experience by positing immanence as a kind of transcendence and transcendence as a kind of immanence.

Shapiro, ‘Thank you Israel, for supporting America’

November 13, 2012

Shapiro, Faydra L.  ‘Thank you Israel, for supporting America’: the transnational flow of Christian Zionist resources.  Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.

Abstract: This article seeks to understand what it means when, in 2006, a noted British pastor and Bible teacher stood up in front of 8000 evangelical Zionists from all over the world at the convention centre in Jerusalem and addressed the audience with the following counter-intuitive words: ‘Thank you Israel, for supporting America!’ Evangelical Christianity has complex relations and ambivalent relations to the nation state and globalisation. Supernaturally speaking, Israel is the only nation state in the world that matters. Contemporary Israel becomes a kind of litmus test, both for manifesting the truth of the word of God and for manifesting the individual’s or the nation’s commitment to realising God’s will in this world. For Christian Zionism, this transnational flow of resources into and out of Israel ultimately redeem locality, offering ‘the nations’ a place in the story, and the opportunity to serve as vehicles for God’s will.

Roudometof, “The Glocalisations of Eastern Orthodox Christianity”

November 10, 2012

Roudometof, Victor (2012) “The Glocalisations of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.” European Journal of Social Theory.  ISSUE AND VOLUME NOT AVAILABLE, ONLINE PREPUBLICATION.

Abstract: This article introduces the notion of multiple glocalizations as a means of analysing Christianity’s historical record and argues that multiple glocalizations are constitutive of the intertwining between religion and historical globalization. It proposes that four concrete forms of glocalization can be observed: vernacularization, indigenization, nationalization and transnationalization. Each of these offers different combinations of universal religiosity and local particularism. The salience of this interpretation is demonstrated through a cursory analysis of the historical record of Christianity’s fragmentation. It is argued that the very construction of distinct religious traditions (Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism) is an expression of this broader process. Finally, the historical record of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is examined in order to provide for additional historical instances of these forms of glocalization.

K. Healan Gaston (2012) “Interpreting Judeo-Christianity in America”

November 10, 2012

K. Healan Gaston (2012) “Interpreting Judeo-Christianity in America” Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception. 2(2):291-230

Abstract: Since Mark Silk’s article “Notes on the Judeo-Christian Tradition in America” appeared in 1984, historians have extended, and in certain respects modified, his analysis. Silk argued that the term emerged from the antifascist initiatives of the last 1930s and rose to prominence during World War II, becoming a mainstay of postwar American public culture before falling into disrepute in the early 1970s. Subsequent interpreters have traced the emergence of Judeo-Christian terminology in specific contexts, but no one has followed Silk in examining the discourse in its entirety or acknowledging the political tensions within it. The piece surveys the historical scholarship on the idea of America as a Judeo-Christian nation.

Freeman, “Pentecostalism and Development: Churches, NGOs and Social Change in Africa”

November 10, 2012

Freeman, Dena, ed.  (2012) Pentecostalism and Development: Churches, NGOs and Social Change in Africa. New York: Palgrave McMillan. 

Publisher’s description: The practice and discipline of development was founded on the belief that religion was not important to development processes. As societies developed and modernised, it was assumed that they would also undergo a process of secularisation. However, the prominence of religion in many countries and its effects on people’s social, political and economic activities calls this assumption into question. Pentecostal Christianity has spread rapidly throughout Africa since the 1980s and has been a major force for change. This book explains why and shows how Pentecostalism articulates with local level development processes. As well as exploring the internal model of ‘development’ which drives Pentecostal organisations, contributors compare Pentecostal churches and secular NGOs as different types of contemporary development agents and discern the different ways in which they bring about change. At the heart of this book, then, is an exploration of processes of individual and social transformation, and their relevance to understandings of the successes and failures of development.

Luhrmann and Morgain, “Prayer as Inner Sense Cultivation”

November 6, 2012

Luhrmann, T.M. and Rachel Morgain. 2012. Prayer as Inner Sense Cultivation: An Attentional Learning Theory of Spiritual Experience. Ethos 40(4):359-389.

Abstract: How does prayer change the person who prays? In this article, we report on a randomized controlled trial developed to test an ethnographic hypothesis. Our results suggest that prayer which uses the imagination—the kind of prayer practiced in many U.S. evangelical congregations—cultivates the inner senses, and that this cultivation has consequences. Mental imagery grows sharper. Inner experience seems more significant to the person praying. Feelings and sensations grow more intense. The person praying reports more unusual sensory experience and more unusual and more intense spiritual experience. In this work we explain in part why inner sense cultivation is found in so many spiritual traditions, and we illustrate the way spiritual practice affects spiritual experience. We contribute to the anthropology of religion by presenting an attentional learning theory of prayer.

Corwin, “Changing God, Changing Bodies: The Impact of New Prayer Practices on Elderly Catholic Nuns’ Embodied Experience”

November 5, 2012

Corwin, Anna (2012) “Changing God, Changing Bodies: The Impact of New Prayer Practices on Elderly Catholic Nuns’ Embodied Experience.” Ethos 40(4):390-410.

Abstract:  I focus this study on changes in the prayer lives of U.S. Catholic nuns following Vatican II; widespread institutional change in the Catholic Church that, among other things, transformed U.S. Catholic nuns’ lives. In the article, I combine a phenomenological model of embodiment with narrative analysis to show how institutional linguistic prayer practices transform elderly nuns’ embodied experience as they age. Drawing on naturalistic video- and audio-recordings gathered over three years in a Catholic convent in the Midwestern United States, I show how changing communicative and embodied prayer practices following Vatican II have impacted U.S. Catholic nuns’ (1) understanding of the divine, (2) relationship with the divine, (3) embodied experience of the divine, and (4) how these changes have impacted their experiences of and interpretation of physical states including illness and pain. Overall, I offer insight into how changes in the nuns’ linguistic practice of prayer impact the nuns’ documented success in managing loneliness and chronic pain at the end of life.

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