Abstract: In order to better understand diverse configurations of Catholicism in relation to the contemporary anthropology of Christianity, we need to develop more dynamic models to interpret the interaction between the material of particular ethnographic accounts and the continual recalibration of broader cultural and theological paradigms involved in their framing and analysis. Building upon the growing body of work that has been produced in both the ethnography of Catholic communities and the critical reflection on theoretical dimensions of the new project of the anthropology of Christianity, we hope to nudge conversations toward more integrated explorations between these two lines of enquiry. The research presented in the articles included in this special issue collectively suggests that turning the ethnographic lens toward Asian Catholicism can serve to substantially enrich conversations with new empirical material on modern forms of religiosity. Well beyond that, moreover, critical engagement with such dynamic, theologically sophisticated, aesthetically complex, and socially engaged traditions can inform constructive critiques of the mainstream account of Anthropology’s approach to the study of Christianity.
Publisher’s Description: Despite the ongoing global expansion of Christianity, there remains a lack of comprehensive scholarship on its development in Asia. This volume fills the gap by exploring the world of Asian Christianity and its manifold expressions, including worship, theology, spirituality, inter-religious relations, interventions in society, and mission. The contributors, from over twenty countries, deconstruct many of the widespread misconceptions and interpretations of Christianity in Asia. They analyze how the growth of Christian beliefs throughout the continent is linked with the socio-political and cultural processes of colonization, decolonization, modernization, democratization, identity construction of social groups, and various social movements. With a particular focus on inter-religious encounters and emerging theological and spiritual paradigms, the volume provides alternative frames for understanding the phenomenon of conversion and studies how the scriptures of other religious traditions are used in the practice of Christianity within Asia.
The Oxford Handbook of Christianity in Asia draws insightful conclusions on the historical, contemporary, and future trajectory of its subject by combining the contributions of scholars in a wide variety of disciplines, including theology, sociology, history, political science, and cultural studies. It will be an invaluable resource for understanding Christianity in a global context.
Table of Contents:
Part I: Mapping of Asian Christianity
1. Christianity in West Asia – H. Teule
2. South Asian Christianity in Context – Felix Wilfred
3. Christian Minorities on the Central Asian Silk Roads – Sebastien Peyrouse
4. On the Trail of Spices: Christianity in Southeast Asia – Georg Evers
5. Identity and Marginality – Christianity in East Asia – Edmond Tang
Part II: Cross Cultural Flows and Pan-Asian Movements of Asian Christianity
6. Asian Theological Trends – Michael Amaladoss
7. Scriptural Translations and Cross-textual Hermeneutics – Archie C. C. Lee
8. The Contributions of the Asian Ecumenical Movements to World Ecumenism – Aruna Gnanadason
9. Inter-Asia Mission and Global Missionary Movements from Asia – Sebastian Kim
10. Pentecostalism and Charismatic Movements in Asia – Allan Anderson
11. Forms of Asian Indigenous Christianities – Paul Joshua
12. Gender, Sexuality, and Christian Feminist Movements – Sharon A. Bong
Part III: Asian Christianities and the Social-Cultural Processes
13. Modernity and Change of Values: Asian Christian Negotiations and Resistance – Angela Wai Ching Wong
14. Caveats to Christianization: Colonialism, Nationalism and Christian – Julius Bautista
15. Socio-Political developments in the Middle-East and Their Impact on Christian – Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid
16. Asian Christianity and Politics of Conversion – Rudi Heradia
17. Political Democratization and Asian Churches: The Case of Taiwan – Po Ho Huang
18. The Role of Christianity in Peace and Conflict in Asia – Liyanage Anthony Jude Lal Fernando
19. Christianity and the cause of Asian Women – Gemma Cruz
20. Education in Asia – Lun-Li
21. Christian Social Engagement in Asia – Felix Wilfred
Part IV: Asian Christianity in its Interaction with Asian Religious Traditions
22. Changing Paradigms of Asian Christian Attitude to Other Religions – Wesley Ariarajah
23. Jewish – Christian relationships in the West Asia – History, Major Issues, Challenges – David M. Neuhaus
24. Muslim Perceptions of Asian Christianity: A survey – Ataullah Siddiqui
25. The Multiverse of Hindu Engagement with Christianity – Ananta K. Giri
26. Christian Tradition in the Eyes of Asian Buddhists: The Case of Japan – Dennis Hirota
27. Encounter between Confucianism and Christianity – Jonatha Tan
28. Asian Christianity and Religious Conversion: Issues and Debates – Richard Fox Young
29. Asian Christian Art and Architecture – Gudrun Löwner
Part V: Some Future Trajectories of Asian Christianity
30. Christians in Asia Read Sacred Books of the East – George Gispert-Sauch
31. Multiple Religious Belonging or Complex Identity – An Asian Way – Bagus Laksana
32. Asian Christian Spirituality – Peter Phan C.
33. Asian Christian Forms of Worship and Music – Swee Hong
34. Revisiting Historiographies: New Directions – Daniel Pilario
35. Asian Christianity and Public Life -The Interplay – Felix Wilfred
36. Migration and New Cosmopolitanism in Asian Christianity – Mario Francisco
37. Western Christianity in the Light of Christianity in Asia: A Western Christian’s Reflection – Francis Clooney
Publisher’s Description: Between 1999 and 2000, sectarian fighting fanned across the eastern Indonesian province of North Maluku, leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. What began as local conflicts between migrants and indigenous people over administrative boundaries spiraled into a religious war pitting Muslims against Christians and continues to influence communal relationships more than a decade after the fighting stopped. Christopher R. Duncan spent several years conducting fieldwork in North Maluku, and in Violence and Vengeance, he examines how the individuals actually taking part in the fighting understood and experienced the conflict.
Rather than dismiss religion as a facade for the political and economic motivations of the regional elite, Duncan explores how and why participants came to perceive the conflict as one of religious difference. He examines how these perceptions of religious violence altered the conflict, leading to large-scale massacres in houses of worship, forced conversions of entire communities, and other acts of violence that stressed religious identities. Duncan’s analysis extends beyond the period of violent conflict and explores how local understandings of the violence have complicated the return of forced migrants, efforts at conflict resolution and reconciliation.
Contributors: Richard Fox Young, Jonathan A. Seitz, Nola Cooke, Richard Burden, Joseph Tse-Hei Lee, La Seng Dingrin, Erik de Maaker, Sipra Mukherjee, Gregory Vanderbilt, Jonas Adelin Jorgensen, Chad M. Bauman, Franklin Rausch, Rhonda Semple, Matthias Frenz, Edwin Zehner
Publisher’s Description: Drawing on first person accounts, Asia in the Making of Christianity studies conversion in the lives of Christians throughout Asia, past and present. Fifteen contributors treat perennial questions about conversion: continuity and discontinuity, conversion and communal conflict, and the politics of conversion. Some study individuals (An Chunggŭn of Korea, Liang Fa of China, Nehemiah Goreh of India), while others treat ethnolinguistic groups or large-scale movements. Converts sometimes appear as proto-nationalists, while others are suspected of cultural treason. Some transition effortlessly from leadership in one religious community into Christian ministry, while others re-convert to new forms of Christianity. The accounts collected here underscore the complexity of conversion, balancing individual agency with broader social trends and combining micro- with macrocontextual approaches
Kreinath, Jens & William Silcott. 2013. Introduction: Politics of faith in Asia: Local and global perspectives of Christianity in Asia. Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal 14(2):180-184.
Abstract: This collection of papers is the result of research presented at the 2010 meeting of the American Academy of Religion in Atlanta, Georgia, sponsored by the Comparative Studies of Religion section. The set of papers resulting from the panel, Politics of Faith in Asia: Local and Global Perspectives of Christianity in Asia, presents findings from a diverse array of cultural areas and historical contexts across the Asian continent. All of these are connected by a focus on the intersection of Christianity and the political organisation in Asian societies. Although each paper focuses primarily on the continued encounter of Protestant, Evangelical Christianity and local religions, the definition and scope of the political milieu differ considerably. Moving from local communities in a small Indian town, through the growing global connections of religious groups in the Philippines, to the global and national politics of South Korea, the set addresses a multitude of political levels, be they governmental or the processes of everyday interactions.
Abstract: This brief afterword comments on the papers from this special issue, arguing that each explores current complexities of interactions between national and transnational orientations, but also helps to nuance understandings of the global through the invocation of history. As a result, we not only observe the interplay between colonial and post-colonial regimes of religion and politics, but also gain an appreciation of transnational religious impulses that were in operation well before the last few decades of explicitly ‘global consciousness’. Christianisation has a significant history in the regions covered, but it cannot be understood through crude, unilinear models of development or progress.
Abstract: Neo-liberal globalization (also known as “millennial capitalism”) and the neo-Pentecostal-charismatic movement seem to be converging and spreading in the same areas of the globe. Against a backdrop of Pentecostal growth from its coalescence with indigenous shamanism in modern Korea, Presbyterian Elder and scientist Ki-Cheol Son, famous for his charismatic preaching and healing ministry, founded the Heavenly Touch Ministry (HTM) in Seoul in 2004. Unlike most Reformed Charismatics, he promotes the idea that God wants Christians to be successful, with special attention to financial prosperity. The success of HTM’s doctrines stressing deliverance/healing and blessings hinges on two interrelated sets of factors: first, HTM’s teachings, representing a collective aspiration within the contemporary Korean religious market, are effectively marketed by Elder Son, who has a keen perception of people’s need for miracles; and second, the teachings work in idioms (such as “Name-it-and-claim-it!”) that are familiar and accessible to a wide range of shamanistic middle-class believers struggling for financial success in the new economic climate. It seems to me that these sets of factors make identical claims, stated differently. HTM is a product of neo-liberal globalization, and its followers represent the neo-Pentecostal middle class in the global village. This paper elaborates this thesis with reference to observations at HTM’s deliverance meetings and newspaper interviews with Son.