Peter van der Veer has gathered together a ground-breaking collection of essays that suggests that conversion to forms of Christianity in the modern period is not only a conversion to modern forms of these religions, but also to relgious forms of modernity. Religious perceptions of the self, of community, and of the state are transformed when Western discourses of modernity become dominant in the modern world. This volume seeks to relate europe and its others by exploring conversion both in modern Europe and in the colonized world.
The contributors combine the study of conversion in modern Europe with an analysis of conversion in Africa, Sotuh and South-East Asia and Oceania. Several essays attempt explicitly to relate religious development in the colonizing and in the colonized world. Both the effects of the missionary project on target peoples and on the religious history of Western societies is examined. The discourse of "the reflective self," "personal choice," and "authenticity" inherent in Christian conversion and crucial to the question of modernity, is examined both in European and non-European contexts. Conversion is shown to be an innovative practice which partakes in the transformation of the social without being a mechanical result of it. "Conversion to Modernity" combines cultural studies, history and anthropology in providing new and important insights in modernity, colonialism and Christian discourse.
Contributors: Webb Keane, Peter van Rooden, Patricia Spyer, Achille Mbembe, Nicholas Dirks, Birgit Meyer, Judith Pollman, Margaret Jolly, Keith Luria, Eytan Bercovitch, Talal Asad, Gauri Viswanathan.
Series: Zones of Religion
Number Of Pages: 287
Published: 11th December 1995
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 16.51
Weight (kg): 0.55
Edition Number: 1