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.
Abstract: Within Haiti’s growing transnational Protestant community, there are different types of churches and adherents that practice traditional forms of Protestant Christianity (such as the Adventist, Methodist and Baptist faiths) and Pentecostal/Charismatic forms of Protestant Christianity. Using Michèle Lamont’s work on symbolic boundaries, I explore how Haitian Protestants living in New Providence, Bahamas, differentiate these two major Haitian Protestant church cultures through the use of denigrating terms about differing religious traditions. Churches which practice traditional forms of Haitian Protestantism, for example, are sometimes called touloutoutou churches. Churches where Pentecostal/Charismatic forms of Haitian Protestantism are practiced are sometimes referred to as tet mare churches by some Haitian Protestants. In addition, practitioners’ descriptions reflect issues of social class and contested notions of Christian authenticity among Haitian Protestants in the Bahamas.