Bartel, “Giving Is Believing”

Rebecca C. Bartel, 2016. “Giving Is Believing: Credit and Christmas in Colombia” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 84(4): 1006-1028.

Abstract: The Durkheimian divide between “belief” and “rite” remains a contested boundary in the study of religion. In response, this article takes up the concept of “credere,” the root of both belief and credit, to challenge the distinction between believing and practice. “Credere” further opens a new window for inquiry in religious studies: the role of the gift in finance capitalism. Based on two years of ethnographic fieldwork in Colombia, South America, this article challenges the disciplinary margins between political economy and religion. Relations between believing, practice, and finance capitalism are brought into new relief through a focus on gift-giving in a time of credit cards. In Colombia, the relationship between finance capitalism and Christianity reshapes the gift—from a gift based on social obligation to a gift based on credit.

Durbin, ” ‘I am an Israeli'”

Durbin, Sean. 2013. “I am an Israeli”: Christian Zionism as American redemption. Culture and Religion 14(2).

Abstract: This article argues that discourse used to define and understand Israel by prominent American Christian Zionists is a discourse of national idealisation. Drawing on Durkheim’s (2008) notion of symbols as sources of social solidarity, I argue that this imagined Israel reflects conservative social and military values that are shared among Christian Zionists and their supporters – values which many in this broad category see the United States failing to uphold. Following this, I show how one of America’s most prominent pastors – John Hagee – and his organisation – Christians United for Israel – have taken on the role of a contemporary Jeremiah, criticising the American government for not adequately supporting Israel. This article concludes by considering how Christian Zionists are calling America to renew and align itself with God by ‘blessing’ Israel, and acting like Israel.

Sarró, Ramon: “Postscript: The Love Boat, or the Elementary Forms of Charismatic Life.”

Sarró, Ramon. 2012. “The Love Boat, or the Elementary Forms of Charismatic Life. Journal of Religion in Africa 42(4):453-459.

Excerpt: “Here I want to take the opportunity to suggest that the study of charisma is not a rupture with any other form of previous anthropology of religion but, in many ways, a refreshing return to the founding fathers of the discipline such as Durkheim, whose centenary I am celebrating with my subtitle. I also want to suggest that new forms of African religion are experienced by their believers not as a rupture but sometimes as a return to a purer and very old form of religion that Africans have forgotten via a destructive combination of internal and external agencies. The return to a ‘forgotten God’ is a common theme in several trends of prophetic Christianity and also of Islam, though less explicit in Pentecostal discourses. . . “