Catechizing Culture

Author: Andrew Orta
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023150392X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Nearly five centuries after the first wave of Catholic missionaries arrived in the New World to spread their Christian message, contemporary religious workers in the Bolivian highlands have begun to encourage Aymara Indians to return to traditional ritual practices. All but eradicated after hundreds of years of missionization, the "old ways" are now viewed as local cultural expressions of Christian values. In order to become more Christian, the Aymara must now become more Indian. This groundbreaking study of the contemporary encounter between Catholic missionaries and Aymara Indians is the first ethnography to focus both on the evangelizers and the evangelized. Andrew Orta explores the pastoral shift away from liberation theology that dominated Latin American missionization up until the mid-1980s to the recent "theology of inculturation," which upholds the beliefs and practices of a supposedly pristine Aymara culture as indigenous expressions of a more universal Christianity. Addressing essential questions in cultural anthropology, religious studies, postcolonial studies, and globalization studies, Catechizing Culture is a sophisticated documentation of the widespread shift from the politics of class to the politics of ethnicity and multiculturalism.

Concepts of Conversion

Author: Lars Kirkhusmo Pharo
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 3110497913
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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There has not been conducted much research in religious studies and (linguistic) anthropology analysing Protestant missionary linguistic translations. Contemporary Protestant missionary linguists employ grammars, dictionaries, literacy campaigns, and translations of the Bible (in particular the New Testament) in order to convert local cultures. The North American institutions SIL and Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT) are one of the greatest scientific-evangelical missionary enterprises in the world. The ultimate objective is to translate the Bible to every language. The author has undertaken systematic research, employing comparative linguistic methodology and field interviews, for a history-of-ideas/religions and epistemologies explication of translated SIL missionary linguistic New Testaments and its premeditated impact upon religions, languages, sociopolitical institutions, and cultures. In addition to taking into account the history of missionary linguistics in America and theological principles of SIL/WBT, the author has examined the intended cultural transformative effects of Bible translations upon cognitive and linguistic systems. A theoretical analytic model of conversion and translation has been put forward for comparative research of religion, ideology, and knowledge systems.

Mobilizing Bolivia s Displaced

Author: Nicole Fabricant
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807837512
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The election of Evo Morales as Bolivia's president in 2005 made him his nation's first indigenous head of state, a watershed victory for social activists and Native peoples. El Movimiento Sin Tierra (MST), or the Landless Peasant Movement, played a significant role in bringing Morales to power. Following in the tradition of the well-known Brazilian Landless movement, Bolivia's MST activists seized unproductive land and built farming collectives as a means of resistance to large-scale export-oriented agriculture. In Mobilizing Bolivia's Displaced, Nicole Fabricant illustrates how landless peasants politicized indigeneity to shape grassroots land politics, reform the state, and secure human and cultural rights for Native peoples. Fabricant takes readers into the personal spaces of home and work, on long bus rides, and into meetings and newly built MST settlements to show how, in response to displacement, Indigenous identity is becoming ever more dynamic and adaptive. In addition to advancing this rich definition of indigeneity, she explores the ways in which Morales has found himself at odds with Indigenous activists and, in so doing, shows that Indigenous people have a far more complex relationship to Morales than is generally understood.

Expecting Pears from an Elm Tree

Author: Erick D. Langer
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822390914
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Missions played a vital role in frontier development in Latin America throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They were key to the penetration of national societies into the regions and indigenous lands that the nascent republics claimed as their jurisdictions. In Expecting Pears from an Elm Tree, Erick D. Langer examines one of the most important Catholic mission systems in republican-era Latin America, the Franciscan missions among the Chiriguano Indians in southeastern Bolivia. Using that mission system as a model for understanding the relationship between indigenous peoples and missionaries in the post-independence period, Langer explains how the missions changed over their lifespan and how power shifted between indigenous leaders and the missionaries in an ongoing process of negotiation. Expecting Pears from an Elm Tree is based on twenty years of research, including visits to the sites of nearly every mission discussed and interviews with descendants of mission Indians, Indian chiefs, Franciscan friars, mestizo settlers, and teachers. Langer chronicles how, beginning in the 1840s, the establishment of missions fundamentally changed the relationship between the Chiriguano villages and national society. He looks at the Franciscan missionaries’ motives, their visions of ideal missions, and the realities they faced. He also examines mission life from the Chiriguano point of view, considering their reasons for joining missions and their resistance to conversion, as well as the interrelated issues of Indian acculturation and the development of the mission economy, particularly in light of the relatively high rates of Indian mortality and outmigration. Expanding his focus, Langer delves into the complex interplay of Indians, missionaries, frontier society, and the national government until the last remaining missions were secularized in 1949. He concludes with a comparative analysis between colonial and republican-era missions throughout Latin America.

Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism

Author: Edward Wright-Rios
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822392283
Format: PDF, ePub
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In Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism, Edward Wright-Rios investigates how Catholicism was lived and experienced in the Archdiocese of Oaxaca, a region known for its distinct indigenous cultures and vibrant religious life, during the turbulent period of modernization in Mexico that extended from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth. Wright-Rios centers his analysis on three “visions” of Catholicism: an enterprising archbishop’s ambitious religious reform project, an elderly indigenous woman’s remarkable career as a seer and faith healer, and an apparition movement that coalesced around a visionary Indian girl. Deftly integrating documentary evidence with oral histories, Wright-Rios provides a rich, textured portrait of Catholicism during the decades leading up to the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and throughout the tempestuous 1920s. Wright-Rios demonstrates that pastors, peasants, and laywomen sought to enliven and shape popular religion in Oaxaca. The clergy tried to adapt the Vatican’s blueprint for Catholic revival to Oaxaca through institutional reforms and attempts to alter the nature and feel of lay religious practice in what amounted to a religious modernization program. Yet some devout women had their own plans. They proclaimed their personal experiences of miraculous revelation, pressured priests to recognize those experiences, marshaled their supporters, and even created new local institutions to advance their causes and sustain the new practices they created. By describing female-led visionary movements and the ideas, traditions, and startling innovations that emerged from Oaxaca’s indigenous laity, Wright-Rios adds a rarely documented perspective to Mexican cultural history. He reveals a remarkable dynamic of interaction and negotiation in which priests and parishioners as well as prelates and local seers sometimes clashed and sometimes cooperated but remained engaged with one another in the process of making their faith meaningful in tumultuous times.

Christian Moderns

Author: Webb Keane
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520939219
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Across much of the postcolonial world, Christianity has often become inseparable from ideas and practices linking the concept of modernity to that of human emancipation. To explore these links, Webb Keane undertakes a rich ethnographic study of the century-long encounter, from the colonial Dutch East Indies to post-independence Indonesia, among Calvinist missionaries, their converts, and those who resist conversion. Keane's analysis of their struggles over such things as prayers, offerings, and the value of money challenges familiar notions about agency. Through its exploration of language, materiality, and morality, this book illuminates a wide range of debates in social and cultural theory. It demonstrates the crucial place of Christianity in semiotic ideologies of modernity and sheds new light on the importance of religion in colonial and postcolonial histories.