When compared to the extensive historiography on missionary activity, the anthropology of missions is a relative newcomer, emerging as such in the context of the recent critique of the colonial system. In view of the importance of historiographical literature in outlining the subject, on the one hand, and of the impact of the decolonization of the African continent on anthropology, on the other hand, my purposes in this essay are, firstly, to examine how the historiography of colonial America and of African colonialism has handled the subject of missions; secondly, to describe the role of missionary activity in the historiographical debate in the context of the crisis of colonialism; and, lastly, to analyze how post-colonial critique has given rise to a new anthropology of missions.
Jean Comaroff, Peter Geschiere, Kamari M. Clarke, and Adeline Masquelier
Colonial frontiers, we have long been told, put conventional categories at risk. I grew up on one such frontier, itself an anachronism in the late-twentieth-century world—apartheid South Africa, where many of the key terms of liberal modernity were scandalously, publically violated. Religion was one of them. Some have argued that the act of separating the sacred from the secular is the founding gesture of liberal modern state making (Asad 2003: 13). In this, South Africa was a flagrant exception. There, the line between faith and politics was always overtly contested, always palpably porous. Faith-based arguments were central to politics at its most pragmatic, to competing claims of sovereignty and citizenship, to debates about the nature of civilization or the content of school curricula. As a settler colony, South Africa had long experimented with ways to ‘modernize racial domination’ (Adam 1971) in the interests of capitalist production, frequently with appeals to theology. After 1948, in contrast with the spirit of a decolonizing world, the country fell under the sway of Afrikaner rulers of overtly Calvinist bent. They set about formalizing a racial division of labor that ensured that black populations, the Children of Ham, remained economically subservient and politically marginal.
Erella Grassiani, Alexander Horstmann, Lotte Buch Segal, Ronald Stade, and Henrik Vigh
Violence, defined as the intentional inflicting of injury and damage, seems to always have been a fact of human life. Whether in the shape of raids, ambushes, wars, massacres, genocides, insurgences, terrorism, or gang assaults, socially organized violence, that is, human groups orchestrating and committing violent acts, has been a steady companion of human life through the ages. The human quest to make sense of violence is probably as old as violence itself. Academic conflict research both continues and advances this quest. As long as wars were waged between nations, the research on armed conflicts focused on international relations and great power politics. This paradigm was kept alive even when the asymmetrical warfare of decolonization spread across the world, because by then the frame of analysis was the binary system of the Cold War and regional conflicts were classifi ed as proxy wars. After the end of the Cold War, the academic interest in forms of organized violence other than international conflict became more general in the social sciences, not least in anthropology, a discipline whose long-standing research interest in violent conflict previously had been directed almost exclusively towards “tribal warfare.” But, following their research tradition, anthropologists also began to conduct field studies in contemporary war zones and other violent settings.
The Digital Age Opens Up New Terrains for Peace and Conflict Research
Josepha Ivanka Wessels
-state has ceased to exist after the process of decolonization. Finally, cyberspace offers a context for the deposit of digital memorials for victims and casualties of war from any adversary in a conflict. The three articles of this special section were
Colonial Bureaucratic Violence, Identity, and Transitional Justice in Canada
Jaymelee J. Kim
Incommensurability of Transitional justice and Decolonization in Canada .” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society 5 ( 1 ): 24 – 44 . Menjívar , Cecilia . 2011 . Enduring Violence: Ladina Women’s Lives in Guatemala . Berkeley : University of
Exceptionalism and Necropolitical Security Dynamics in Olympic Rio de Janeiro
Margit Ystanes and Tomas Salem
is blind to the current workings of race and racism among the population. Such “pedagogical amnesia” is not unique to Norway but is currently contested by an increasing number of scholars around the world, who call for the decolonization of knowledge
A Discursive Analysis of a Century of Anthropological Writings on Missionary Ethnographers
Travis Warren Cooper
’ peoples, women, and queer folks; the recent disavowal of … reflexivity and experimentation; and what George Marcus has recently termed a ‘crisis of reception.’” Describing anthropology’s decolonized, decolonizing turn, these scholars focus on the
, topic of study for the earliest anthropologists of Buddhism, who instead focused primarily on monastic actors, rituals, and institutions in the peasant villages of decolonizing, modernizing Asia in the 1950s and 1960s. In reimagining the relationship
A Protracted Peacebuilding Process
non-Jewish) implicitly holds within its folds seeds of the expulsion and dispossession of the Palestinians. The dire consequences of this framework are still with us today and likely to continue without the decolonization of Israeli-Palestinian power
Mariske Westendorp, Bruno Reinhardt, Reinaldo L. Román, Jon Bialecki, Alexander Agadjanian, Karen Lauterbach, Juan Javier Rivera Andía, Kate Yanina DeConinck, Jack Hunter, Ioannis Kyriakakis, Magdalena Crăciun, Roger Canals, Cristina Rocha, Khyati Tripathi, Dafne Accoroni, and George Wu Bayuga
reduced to a “bolder version of the classical relativistic principle of anthropology [that] extends relativism onto reality itself” (p. 3). Disguised as a “decolonization of thought,” it furthers the assumption that “non-Western realities, like those of