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Community Capacity Building

Transforming Amerindian Sociality in Peruvian Amazonia

Christopher Hewlett

was the first of three generations of SIL members to live and work among them. 1 The SIL is a North American evangelical organization that bases its work on the belief that indigenous people should learn about Christianity from the Bible in their own

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Sacred Welcomes

How Religious Reasons, Structures, and Interactions Shape Refugee Advocacy and Settlement

Benjamin Boudou, Hans Leaman, and Maximilian Miguel Scholz

Through five interdisciplinary case studies from different contexts in Africa, Europe, and North America, and with a particular focus on Christianity and Judaism, this special section of Migration and Society explores how religious institutions

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The Case for Religious Transmission

Time and Transmission in the Anthropology of Christianity

Vlad Naumescu

Acknowledging the growing interest in issues of religious transmission, this article reviews two promising yet contradictory approaches to religion that could be described as historicist and universalist. It offers an alternative view premised on their convergence in a pragmatic approach that can link the material, contextual, and institutional dimensions of transmission with corresponding cognitive, perceptive, and emotional processes. This perspective recognizes the historicity of religious transmission and its cognitive underpinnings while attending to the materiality of its semiotic forms. The article focuses on the relationship between time and transmission in recent ethnographies of Christianity that show how Christian temporalities influence perceptions of social continuity or rupture and individuals' becoming in history. Within this frame, it examines the case of Old Believers, an apocalyptic movement that emerged out of a schism in seventeenth-century Russian Orthodoxy, to indicate how a pragmatic approach works in practice.

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The 'Orthodoxy' of Orthodoxy

On Moral Imperfection, Correctness, and Deferral in Religious Worlds

Andreas Bandak and Tom Boylston

This article uses ethnographic studies of Orthodox Christianities as a way to investigate the concept of 'orthodoxy' as it applies to religious worlds. Orthodoxy, we argue, is to be found neither in opposition to popular religion nor solely in institutional churches, but in a set of encompassing relations among clergy and lay people that amounts to a religious world and a shared tradition. These relations are characterized by correctness and deferral—formal modes of relating to authority that are open-ended and non-definitive and so create room for certain kinds of pluralism, heterodoxy, and dissent within an overarching structure of faith and obedience. Attention to the aesthetics of orthodox practice shows how these relations are conditioned in multi-sensory, often non-linguistic ways. Consideration of the national and territorial aspects of Orthodoxy shows how these religious worlds of faith and deferral are also political worlds.

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The Algebra of Souls

Ontological Multiplicity and the Transformation of Animism in Southwest China

Mireille Mazard

music and dance. In his home village of Khrada, however, Lañi ceased his ritual activities decades ago when he converted to Christianity. The cleavage between the living and the dead, mapped out in separate geographies and enacted in the ritualized

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“A Refugee Pastor in a Refugee Church”

Refugee-Refugee Hosting in a Faith-Based Context

Karen Lauterbach

charismatic Christianity, which articulate a tension between egalitarianism and charismatic authority ( Haynes and Hickel 2016 ). This is similarly relevant when discussing the host's possessions and their (re-)interpretation as gifts from God that could be re

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Walter Homolka

The July workshop in 2006 aimed at analysing one specific Jewish approach to define its essence and identity as it has been presented by Leo Baeck (1873-1956), generally considered to have been the last great exponent of German Liberal Judaism. Here we focus on the attempt to evaluate the connection of Liberal Jewish Theology and Liberal Christian Theology at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This will serve as background in order to explain Baeck's contribution to the Jewish-Christian dialogue.

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Strategic Secularism

Bible Advocacy in England

Matthew Engelke

This article focuses on the work of Bible 'advocacy' carried out by the Bible Society of England and Wales. It describes how the Society's first 'Campaign to Culture', held in Nottingham, highlighted the Bible as something that a secular public might recognize as a relevant and important source of ideas and issues, quite apart from its religious significance. As the author suggests, these campaigns can be seen as part of a strategic secularism—the process by which religious actors work to incorporate secular formations into religious agendas.

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Davis Bunn

According to recent polls by US News and World Report, there are today 119 million U.S. citizens who class themselves as 'actively believing' Christians. Of these, more than eighty million profess to attend church more than once every week. Extrapolating from this same survey, more than sixty million Americans believe their Christian faith to be the only true religion. And more than eighty-five million claim to have had a personal experience of being brought into direct contact with God. This is a figure that some pollsters and statisticians, including Gallup, the largest polling organization in the world, consider potentially flawed. This is particularly interesting because Gallup is himself an evangelical believer. So for him to suggest that the stats have been skewed says a lot. As someone who has studied econometrics and statistics at both the undergraduate level in the U.S., and then in graduate business school in the U.K., I can state unequivocably that all of these statistics contain an element of truth. But they also are colored by who is asking, where they are asked, and how the questions are phrased. Even then, they do not tell the entire story.

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Montenegro versus Crna Gora

The rival hagiographic genealogies of the new Montenegrin polity

Alice Forbess

This article examines how hero-ancestor-saints came to be drawn into contestations over heritage, economic assets, and ritual between two rival groups of Orthodox clerics and their political and entrepreneurial backers. After Montenegro's secession from Serbia (2006), pro- and anti-Serbian factions of the population have been mobilized under the banners of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) and of the recently formed Montenegrin Orthodox Church (MOC). As spheres of authority are being carved out in the new polity, competing political and sacred genealogies are used to articulate the nation's descent through earlier state projects in the region. This article examines how Orthodox notions of charisma and leadership intersect with the heroic traditions of highland clans and contemporary state processes to create specific forms of authority inscribed in divine kinship genealogies.