Becoming Sinners Christianity and Moral Torment in a Papua New Guinea Society

ISBN-10: 0520238001
ISBN-13: 9780520238008
Edition: 2004
Authors: Joel Robbins
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Description: In a world of swift and sweeping cultural transformations, few have seen changes as rapid and dramatic as those experienced by the Urapmin of Papua New Guinea in the last four decades. A remote people never directly "missionized," the Urapmin began  More...

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Book details

List price: $36.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 4/12/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 410
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.298
Language: English

In a world of swift and sweeping cultural transformations, few have seen changes as rapid and dramatic as those experienced by the Urapmin of Papua New Guinea in the last four decades. A remote people never directly "missionized," the Urapmin began in the 1960s to send young men to study with Baptist missionaries living among neighboring communities. By the late 1970s, the Urapmin had undergone a charismatic revival, abandoning their traditional religion for a Christianity intensely focused on human sinfulness and driven by a constant sense of millennial expectation. Exploring the Christian culture of the Urapmin, Joel Robbins shows how its preoccupations provide keys to understanding the nature of cultural change more generally. In so doing, he offers one of the richest available anthropological accounts of Christianity as a lived religion. Theoretically ambitious and engagingly written, his book opens a unique perspective on a Melanesian society, religious experience, and the very nature of rapid cultural change.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Prologue: A Heavy Christmas and a Pig Law for People
Introduction: Christianity and Cultural Change
The Making of a Christian Community
From Salt to the Law: Contact and the Early Colonial Period
Christianity and the Colonial Transformation of Regional Relations
Revival, Second-Stage Conversion, and the Localization of the Urapmin Church
Living in Sin
Contemporary Urapmin in Millennial Time and Space
Willfulness, Lawfulness, and Urapmin Morality
Desire and Its Discontents: Free Time and Christian Morality
Rituals of Redemption and Technologies of the Self
Millennialism and the Contest of Values
Conclusion: Christianity, Cultural Change, and the Moral Life of the Hybrid
Notes
References
Index

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