By Webb Keane
Throughout a lot of the postcolonial international, Christianity has usually turn into inseparable from principles and practices linking the concept that of modernity to that of human emancipation. To discover those hyperlinks, Webb Keane undertakes a wealthy ethnographic examine of the century-long come upon, from the colonial Dutch East Indies to post-independence Indonesia, between Calvinist missionaries, their converts, and those that withstand conversion. Keane's research in their struggles over things like prayers, choices, and the worth of cash demanding situations regular notions approximately organisation. via its exploration of language, materiality, and morality, this e-book illuminates a variety of debates in social and cultural conception. It demonstrates the the most important position of Christianity in semiotic ideologies of modernity and sheds new mild at the value of faith in colonial and postcolonial histories.
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Extra info for Christian Moderns: Freedom and Fetish in the Mission Encounter
St~tutional arran~e ments, scriptures, hymns, sermons, and practlces means vutually no Chnsian community is purely local in nature. Another is dQctrinal: most Christans surely claim at least same kind of commonality with other Christians, ~ven if only far enough to assert that others have got it wrong and should know better. Behind this sense of potential commonality lies a long history of texts, doctrines, institutions, and practices in which as much is shared, circulated, or reinvented as is distinguished and differentiated.
For the claims that Christians played a special role in twentieth-century Indonesian history precisely because of the rupture with tradition produced by their minority status, see van Klinken 200}. 7. I draw here on conversations with Courtney Handman about her preliminary fieldwork on the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Papua New Guinea. 8. It has been argued that nineteenth-century Protestant missions' ideas about the unity of humankind were strongly influenced by the eighteenth-century Enlightenment (Stanley 2001: 10).
Of negation" (:1997: }2). This is surely too narrow in some respects-for one thing, modernity is as much a story people tell about their own past as about others-but it captures something important: the narrative often has a normative, even moralistic, thrust to it. For much of the twentieth century, Indonesians were admonished, from higher authorities both left and right, that they must become modern-that to resist would be to harm the nation itself. Wherever the world has been called"developing," similar stories could be told.