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1002:2018:8.1 [2020/01/25 15:28] (current)
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 +~~DECKJS~~
 +# In search of prosperity #
  
 +## In search of prosperity ##
 +
 +Ryan Schram
 +
 +Mills 169 (A26)
 +
 +ryan.schram@sydney.edu.au
 +
 +September 18 and 20, 2017
 +
 +Available at http://​anthro.rschram.org/​1002/​8.1
 +
 +### Reading ###
 +
 +Haynes, Naomi. 2015. “‘Zambia Shall Be Saved!’: Prosperity Gospel Politics in a Self-Proclaimed Christian Nation.” Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions 19 (1): 5–24. doi:​10.1525/​nr.2015.19.1.5.
 +## Alternative modernity ​
 +
 +Brenner argues that Islamic movement does for Indonesia as
 +Protestanism did for early modern Europe, i.e.:
 +
 +Islamic movement : Indonesia : : Protestantism : Europe
 +
 +So Indonesian modernity is an "​alternative"​ to Western modernity, but
 +for Brenner, there is a formal parallel between them. The societies
 +are changing in different ways, but the process of change is the same
 +on a deeper level.
 +
 +
 +## If there are many modernities,​ which one is this? 
 +
 +The **multiple modernities** thesis states: ​
 +
 +* All societies change, but societies do not all eventually end up at
 +  the same destination.
 +* Social change cannot be measured on a single, absolute scale of
 +  progress or development.
 +
 +If there are many modernities,​ then Western society exists in only
 +one? What makes it different?
 +
 +## Do secular societies have a '​sacred'? ​
 +
 +What are the distinctive cultural values of Western modernity not
 +shared, for instance, by Indonesian modernity, Maimafu modernity, or
 +Kabre modernity?
 +
 +Western societies tend to be very secular, but as cultures, their
 +members also share a system of values? What is the idea to which
 +Western societies attribute overriding importance, that is, "​sacred"​
 +value?
 +
 +## The individual as a cultural construct
 +
 +Western societies tend to teach members to see themselves as
 +individuals. This has come into our discussion in several ways
 +already:
 +
 +* The person as a consumer
 +* The person as a wage laborer
 +* The person as a social actor
 +
 +Let's examine directly the idea all these have in common: The
 +individual.
 +
 +## An alternative to Weber
 +
 +Weber assumed that being an individual is natural, and hence a
 +precondition for social action. It is natural for an actor to have a
 +unique, subjective, private view of their action, and so we must take
 +their perspective as an individual to see what they create through
 +action.
 +
 +What if the individual does not exist except in our imagination? ​
 +
 +What if you have to be taught to see yourself as an individual, and
 +not something else? Western children are taught this from the day they
 +are able to talk.
 +
 +* What do you want to be when you grow up? 
 +* What is your favorite X? 
 +
 +## Christianity around the world
 +
 +When we think of the globalization of Western cultural forms, most
 +people think of commodities and mass consumption. They may also think
 +about ideologies like liberal democracy, capitalism and personal
 +achievement.
 +
 +{{:​christianity-graphic-04.png|The Pew Forum of Religion and Public Life. 2011. “Global Christianity:​ A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population- Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.” http://​www.pewforum.org/​}}
 +
 +Different kinds of Christianity have also globalized, but not always
 +in the same ways or to the same places. Pentecostal Christianity
 +speads almost by word of mouth and is growing very rapidly
 +
 +* Kekchi Maya of Guatemala
 +
 +## Christianity is based on Western ideas of the individual
 +
 +* Personal, sincere confession
 +* Equality of all believers qua moral subjects
 +* Individual responsibility for one's relationship to God 
 +* Christian morality is distinct from obligations entailed in social relationships
 +* God cares for human beings as individuals,​ not groups or as members of society
 +
 +## The Urapmin of Papua New Guinea
 +
 +* "The Holy Spirit came." (Robbins 2004, 129) 
 +* The present era is a "free time." (p. 220)
 +* "When do you think the world will end?" (Robbins 1997)
 +
 +## Urapmin Pentecostalism is a contradiction in values
 +
 +* "My wife can't break off part of her belief and give it to me." (Robbins 2002)
 +* "You shouldn'​t talk behind the Holy Spirit'​s back." (Robbins 2004, 135)
 +
 +## Prosperity theology and individualism
 +
 +* Prayers to God must be answered. ​
 +* Health, success and wealth are what God wants for believers. ​
 +* Not an ascetic morality
 +
 +Is this a reflection of Western individualism,​ or a kind of reciprocity with God? 
 +
 +## References
 +
 +The Pew Forum of Religion and Public Life. 2011. “Global Christianity:​ A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population.” http://​www.pewforum.org/​
 +
 +Robbins, Joel. 1997. “‘When Do You Think the World Will End?’: Globalization,​ Apocalypticism,​ and the Moral Perils of Fieldwork in ‘Last New Guinea.’” Anthropology and Humanism 22 (1): 6–30. doi:​10.1525/​ahu.1997.22.1.6.
 +
 +———. 2002. “My Wife Can’t Break Off Part of Her Belief and Give It to Me: Apocalyptic Interrogations of Christian Individualism Among the Urapmin of Papua New Guinea.” Paideuma 48: 189–206.
 +
 +———. 2004. Becoming Sinners: Christianity and Moral Torment in a Papua New Guinea Society. University of California Press.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +## A guide to the unit ##
 +
 +{{page>​1002guide}}
1002/2018/8.1.txt · Last modified: 2020/01/25 15:28 (external edit)