Posts Tagged ‘Foucault’

van Klinken, “Imitation as Transformation of the Male Self How an Apocryphal Saint Reshapes Zambian Catholic Men”

June 11, 2013

van Klinken, Adriaan. 2013. Imitation as Transformation of the Male Self How an Apocryphal Saint Reshapes Zambian Catholic Men. Cahiers d’études africaines 1-2(209-210): 119-142.

Abstract: St Joachim, who according to the apocryphal Protoevangelium Jacobi is the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the patron saint of a Catholic Men’s Organization in Zambia which promotes him as model of Catholic manhood. Through a case study of this organization, this article explores the intersections of religion, men and masculinity in a contemporary African Catholic context, in relation to broader discussions on African masculinities. The focus is on the practice of imitation of St Joachim and its effects on masculinity as the symbolic, discursive and performative construction of embodied male gender identity. Two theoretical concepts inform the analysis, being the notion of imitation as a hermeneutical process and Michel Foucault’s conceptualization of the technologies or hermeneutics of the self. The article shows how a sacred text is mobilized and inspires a communal imitative practice through which men are shaped, and shape themselves, after a religious ideal of masculinity.

Sarró, Ramon: “Postscript: The Love Boat, or the Elementary Forms of Charismatic Life.”

December 14, 2012

Sarró, Ramon. 2012. “The Love Boat, or the Elementary Forms of Charismatic Life. Journal of Religion in Africa 42(4):453-459.

Excerpt: “Here I want to take the opportunity to suggest that the study of charisma is not a rupture with any other form of previous anthropology of religion but, in many ways, a refreshing return to the founding fathers of the discipline such as Durkheim, whose centenary I am celebrating with my subtitle. I also want to suggest that new forms of African religion are experienced by their believers not as a rupture but sometimes as a return to a purer and very old form of religion that Africans have forgotten via a destructive combination of internal and external agencies. The return to a ‘forgotten God’ is a common theme in several trends of prophetic Christianity and also of Islam, though less explicit in Pentecostal discourses. . . “

Bochow & van Dijk, “Christian Creations of New Spaces of Sexuality, Reproduction, and Relationships in Africa: Exploring Faith and Religious Heterotopia”

December 13, 2012

Bochow, Astrid and Rijk van Dijk. 2012. “Christian Creations of New Spaces of Sexuality, Reproduction, and Relationships in Africa: Exploring Faith and Religious Heterotopia.” Journal of Religion in Africa 42(4):325-344.

Abstract: In many African societies today Christian churches, Pentecostals in particular, are an important source of information on sexuality, relationships, the body, and health, motivated in part by the HIV/AIDS pandemic but also related to globally circulating ideas and images that make people rethink gender relations and identities through the lens of ‘romantic love’. Contextualizing the contemporary situation in the history of Christian movements in Africa, and by applying Foucault’s notion of heterotopia, this introduction and the subsequent papers show that Christian doctrines and practices are creating social spaces of altering relational ethics, identities and gender roles that appeal especially to upwardly mobile women.

Eves, “Pentecostal dreaming and technologies of governmentality in a Melanesian society”

November 13, 2011

Eves, Richard (2011) “Pentecostal dreaming and technologies of governmentality in a Melanesian society,” American Ethnologist 38(4):758–773

ABSTRACT: Among the Lelet of central New Ireland (Papua New Guinea), a dramatic increase in Pentecostalist fervor has produced significant changes in dreaming. Traditionally, the Lelet have valued dreaming as a means of access to knowledge and power. Now it is seen as a gift bestowed by the Holy Spirit, giving access to new and different forms of knowledge and power. Pentecostalism lays down many rules of conduct for the avoidance of sin, and dreams now play a role in policing them. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s work on governmentality, I find that Lelet dreaming acts as a form of self-scrutiny, reminding dreamers of the need to rectify their failures to follow Pentecostal precepts. Beyond this, dreams enable people to address the dilemmas that emerge when they embrace frameworks that impose radically different ways of being in the world than their previous religion did.

Faubion, “An Anthropology of Ethics”

October 6, 2011

Faubion, James D. (2011) An Anthropology of Ethics Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Publisher’s Description: Through an ambitious and critical revision of Michel Foucault’s investigation of ethics, James Faubion develops an original program of empirical inquiry into the ethical domain. From an anthropological perspective, Faubion argues that Foucault’s specification of the analytical parameters of this domain is the most productive point of departure in conceptualizing its distinctive features. He further argues that Foucault’s framework is in need of substantial revision to be of genuinely anthropological scope. In making this revision, Faubion illustrates his program with two extended case studies: one of a Portuguese marquis and the other of a dual subject made up of the author and a millenarian prophetess. The result is a conceptual apparatus that is able to accommodate ethical pluralism and yield an account of the limits of ethical variation, providing a novel resolution of the problem of relativism that has haunted anthropological inquiry into ethics since its inception.

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