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By Webb Keane

Throughout a lot of the postcolonial global, Christianity has frequently develop into inseparable from rules and practices linking the idea that of modernity to that of human emancipation. To discover those hyperlinks, Webb Keane undertakes a wealthy ethnographic examine of the century-long come across, from the colonial Dutch East Indies to post-independence Indonesia, between Calvinist missionaries, their converts, and those that face up to conversion. Keane's research in their struggles over things like prayers, choices, and the worth of cash demanding situations wide-spread notions approximately company. via its exploration of language, materiality, and morality, this e-book illuminates a variety of debates in social and cultural conception. It demonstrates the the most important position of Christianity in semiotic ideologies of modernity and sheds new mild at the significance of faith in colonial and postcolonial histories.

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421), Charles Taylor (1985), and Donald Davidson (1980) all give special weight to actors' self-awareness in their various analyses of intentional action. For example, in many accounts, it is the actor's reflexive capacity to give a description to . an action that makes an act coherent over time. This reflexive capacity seems implicit as well in the concept of a meaningful event that lies at the heart of Weberian sociology. eful people who think they know what they are doing-joining political parties, not suffering earthquakes.

But in its more optimistic versions, the idea of modernity commonly seems to include two distinctive features: rupture from a traditional past, and progress into a better future. of negation" (:1997: }2). This is surely too narrow in some respects-for one thing, modernity is as much a story people tell about their own past as about others-but it captures something important: the narrative often has a normative, even moralistic, thrust to it. For much of the twentieth century, Indonesians were admonished, from higher authorities both left and right, that they must become modern-that to resist would be to harm the nation itself.

Even Max Weber (1958) portrayed the Protestant Ethic as eventuating in an iron cage of distinctly nonsectarian construction. 12 extensiveness we should add a temporal dimension, for in many parts of the formerly colonized world, young people are growing up in communities that have been Christian for as long as anyone can remember, even as far back as the beginning of local recorded history (in Fiji for more than 150 years; in Indonesia's Maluku and parts of the Philippines, for more than 300; to say nothing of Mexico, Brazil, and the Andes).

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