Posts Tagged ‘Borneo’

Chua, Liana (2012). “Conversion, continuity, and moral dilemmas among Christian Bidayuhs in Malaysian Borneo”

July 18, 2012

Chua, Liana. 2012. Conversion, continuity, and moral dilemmas among Christian Bidayuhs in Malaysian Borneo. American Ethnologist 39(3):511-526.

Abstract

The nascent anthropology of Christianity highlights rupture as central to conversion. Yet thick ethnography of a Bidayuh village in Malaysian Borneo reveals how conversion can also foster modes of thinking and speaking about continuity between Christianity and “the old ways.” Through a study of the shifting moral and religious topography of a community in which three churches coexist alongside a few elderly animist practitioners, I argue that such discourses and practices of continuity highlight the pluralistic and sometimes contradictory nature of Christianization. At the same time, they generate an understanding of conversion as a temporal and relational positioning that encompasses both converts and nonconverts.

 

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.

%d bloggers like this: