In the aftermath of colonial mission, Christianity has come to have widespread acceptance in Southern Tanzania. In this book, Maia Green explores contemporary Catholic practice in a rural community of Southern Tanzania. Setting the adoption of Christianity and the suppression of witchcraft in a historical context, she suggests that power relations established during the colonial period continue to hold between both popular Christianity and orthodoxy, and local populations and indigenous clergy. Paradoxically, while local practices around the constitution of kinship and personhood remain defiantly free of Christian elements, they inform a popular Christianity experienced as a system of substances and practices. This book offers a challenge to idealist and interpretative accounts of African participation in twentieth-century religious forms, and argues for a politically grounded analysis of historical processes. It will appeal widely to scholars and students of anthropology, sociology and African Studies; particularly those interested in religion and kinship.
Marja-Liisa Swantz has spent a lifetime conducting participatory action research in Tanzania, and In Search of Living Knowledge encapsulates her reactions. She started her career in 1952 in Tanganyika as an instructor to the first generation of women teachers at Ashira Teacher’s Training College, situated on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. In the first years of Tanzania’s independence from Britain, she devoted five years (1965-1970) to participant research in a coastal Zaramo village near the capital city of Dar es Salaam. The research culminated in her book, Ritual and Symbol in Transitional Tanzanian Society, and a doctorate in Anthropology of Religion, which she received from the Swedish University of Uppsala in 1970. The author further developed the Participatory Approach to research while serving as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Dar es Salaam from 1972 to 1975. After becoming a lecturer at the University of Helsinki she continued to develop Participatory Action Research with Tanzanian and Finnish doctoral candidates in a project in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, known as Jipemoyo. She continued to apply the participatory approach in research projects as Director of the Institute of Development Research at the University of Helsinki, where she taught anthropology, and as a Senior Researcher at the World Institute for Development Economics Research Institute in Helsinki in the 1980s. Since retirement, the author has continued her research, writing, and participation in development projects in Tanzania, including projects in Mtwara and Lindi from 1992 to 1998, and for 12 years while involved in a Local Government Cooperation project between Hartola in Finland and Iramba in Tanzania.
In Building God’s Kingdom Karina Hestad Skeie analyzes Malagasy influence on the nineteenth century Norwegian mission in highland Madagascar. Exploring the encounters' material, spatial and symbolic aspects, the study reveals the complex dynamics of mission encounters.
This collection provides vivid ethnographic explorations of particular, local Christianities as they are experienced by different groups around the world. At the same time, the contributors, all anthropologists, rethink the vexed relationship between anthropology and Christianity. As Fenella Cannell contends in her powerful introduction, Christianity is the critical “repressed” of anthropology. To a great extent, anthropology first defined itself as a rational, empirically based enterprise quite different from theology. The theology it repudiated was, for the most part, Christian. Cannell asserts that anthropological theory carries within it ideas profoundly shaped by this rejection. Because of this, anthropology has been less successful in considering Christianity as an ethnographic object than it has in considering other religions. This collection is designed to advance a more subtle and less self-limiting anthropological study of Christianity. The contributors examine the contours of Christianity among diverse groups: Catholics in India, the Philippines, and Bolivia, and Seventh-Day Adventists in Madagascar; the Swedish branch of Word of Life, a charismatic church based in the United States; and Protestants in Amazonia, Melanesia, and Indonesia. Highlighting the wide variation in what it means to be Christian, the contributors reveal vastly different understandings and valuations of conversion, orthodoxy, Scripture, the inspired word, ritual, gifts, and the concept of heaven. In the process they bring to light how local Christian practices and beliefs are affected by encounters with colonialism and modernity, by the opposition between Catholicism and Protestantism, and by the proximity of other religions and belief systems. Together the contributors show that it not sufficient for anthropologists to assume that they know in advance what the Christian experience is; each local variation must be encountered on its own terms. Contributors. Cecilia Busby, Fenella Cannell, Simon Coleman, Peter Gow, Olivia Harris, Webb Keane, Eva Keller, David Mosse, Danilyn Rutherford, Christina Toren, Harvey Whitehouse
Columbia University Press and the American Historical Association (AHA) present Gutenberg, a collection of award-winning monographs written for specialized fields of research. Intended to enhance scholarly and educational publications through new media technologies, the titles of Gutenberg are available either in print or electronically through open access at www.gutenberg-e.org, a Web site hosted by Columbia University. The online version contains digital images, maps, artwork, and hyperlinks, and is fully searchable. These titles are made possible by funding through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Book jacket.