Coleman, “Ethics, ethnography, and ‘repugnant’ Christianity”

Coleman, Simon. 2015. Ethics, ethnography, and “repugnant” Christianity. Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 5 (2): 275–300

Abstract: I explore the troubled relationship between anthropology and conservative Christianity, represented here by Prosperity-oriented Pentecostalism. My interest is not only in the complex boundaries erected between social scientific and religious practice, but also in the ways both involve the construction of ethical orientations to the world that are chronically constituted by the deployment of boundaries that play on movements between the foregrounding and backgrounding of ethical standpoints. One implication of my argument is that we need to consider more carefully the temporality of ethical framing of action. Another is that anthropology must acknowledge the fragmented, even ironic and playful, aspects of Pentecostal practice.

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