Posts Tagged ‘Theology’

Pavey “Theologies of Power and Crisis”

June 4, 2012

Pavey, Stephen.  (2011). Theologies of Power and Crisis: Envisioning/Embodying Christianity in Hong Kong.  Wipf and Stock.

Publisher’s Description:

Theologies of Power and Crisis provides a case study for Eric Wolf’s research directive to better comprehend the interplay of cultural (webs of meaning) and material (webs of power) forms of social life. More specifically, the book demonstrates how theological discourse and practice engage with historical and material relations of power. It has been normative to speak of power in terms of political and economic processes and theology in terms of interpretive and symbolic experiences. This work breaks new ground by linking theological ideas with political-economic processes in terms of the structural relations of power.
Ethnographically, this research investigates the theological processes of Hong Kong Chinese Christians during a period of significant social change and crisis, precipitated by the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997. It shows how local Christians and Christian institutions mediated the significant regional, national, and transnational forces of political-economic change by connecting theological practice to the structural relations of power. The Christian response was a contested process closely intertwined with the broader contested processes of social organization.
This study develops an understanding of Christianity that goes beyond ecclesiastical hegemony to encompass struggles over human practice, meaning, and representation in relation to the changing political-economic context. These findings implicate religious ideas and practice as significant to an understanding of social inequalities and powerlessness by connecting ideologies to material conditions. Christian ideas may be used to legitimize an oppressive social order or they may be used to liberate those who are oppressed. Issues related to the policies and practice of development should take seriously the role of religious beliefs and practices.

Heuser, “Put on God’s Armour Now!”

December 6, 2011

Heuser, Andreas (2011) “‘Put on God’s Armour Now!’: the Embattled Body in African Pentecostal-type Christianity”  in Sebastian Jobs and Gesa Mackenthun, eds., Embodiments of Cultural Encounters. Munster: Wasmann Verlag. 

Excerpt: “Arjun Appadurai distinguishes “hard” from “soft” cultural forms by discussing processes of indigenization . . The argument that I have presented here is that the ‘theology of the embattled body’ in African Pentecostal-type Christianity has developed in to such a “hard cultural form.” . . .Pneumatology, the central theological dimension in African Pentecostal-style Christianity, reviles around the twin formula of an enacted demonology and an elaborated devil complex. . . As a hard cultural form, with all its moral, spiritual, and ritual virtues, the theology of the embattled body resist reinterpretation. In few of the gendered body politics in African Pentecostal-type churches, it changes those who are socialized in it more readily than it permits transformation of the established texture of the devil complex.  . . “

Comaroff and Kim, “Anthropology, Theology, Critical Pedagogy”

October 13, 2011

Comaroff, Jean and David Kyuman Kim. 2011. Anthropology, Theology, Critical Pedagogy: a conversation with Jean Comaroff and David Kyuman Kim. Cultural Anthropology 26(2):158-178.

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