Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

When I started in the anthropology program at the University of Chicago, I knew it would be a long process, but I did not quite realize how many people would be involved in it or how much I would owe to them. I particularly want to thank the chair of my committee, Michael Silverstein, who has guided this project since my first year at Chicago. His insights and theoretical approach...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-38

Like many communities across the world, Guhu-Samane Christians in the Waria River valley were excited to celebrate the start of a new millennium on New Year’s Eve, 2000. As usual for local celebrations, Christians gathered in separate denominational groups, ringing in the new year with church services, prayer sessions, and as much noise as they could muster...

PART ONE. MISSIONS

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Chapter 1. Sacred Speakers or Sacred Groups: The Colonial Lutheran Mission in New Guinea

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pp. 41-63

According to the secularization hypothesis developed by Max Weber (1957) and others, under conditions of modernity, religion was gradually supposed to become a private affair, moving further off the public stage and further into the minds of private individuals. Of course, predictions of the public death of religion have been proven wrong in recent years...

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Chapter 2. Linguistic Locality and the Anti-Institutionalism of Evangelical Christianity: The Summer Institute of Linguistics

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pp. 64-89

In the contemporary memorialization of the 1977 Guhu-Samane Holy Spirit revival, people emphasize the power of the SIL New Testament translation to bring on the revival. Just as important, people also speak about the effectiveness of the translation-inspired revival to bring about “real change” as contrasted with the utter ineffectiveness of either the colonial administration...

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Chapter 3. Translating Locality: The Ethno-Linguistics of Christian Critique

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pp. 90-120

The popular model of translation is that a preexistent text is reproduced in another code in order to be or mean “the same thing.” Various theories or critiques of translation argue that this kind of reproduction is impossible. As the French formulation would have it, translations are, like women, les belles infideles — either beautiful or faithful, but never both. The question then...

PART TWO. CHRISTIAN VILLAGES

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Chapter 4. Revival Villages: Experiments in Christian Social and Spatial Groups

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pp. 123-158

In 1975 Ernest and Marjorie Richert distributed copies of the final, published version of their Guhu-Samane translation of the New Testament. Ernest Richert used the occasion to tell the assembled people to maintain the metaphorical, spiritual “fireplace” that he had built with them. According to contemporary accounts of the event, Richert said that he would soon send...

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Chapter 5. The Surprise of Speech: Disorder, Violence, and Christian Language after the Men’s House

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pp. 159-188

Henry, the head man of Titio village, was in the middle of a long discussion with me about the loss of men’s houses for Guhu-Samane people. Extrapolating from his disappointment, Henry made up a story of walking along the main road and seeing a banana tree. “I walked up to the banana tree. ‘What’s your name?’ ‘My name is Market.’ ” The banana tree named Market...

PART THREE. DENOMINATIONS

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Chapter 6. Events of Translation: Intertextuality and Denominationalist Change

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pp. 191-214

In the decades since the revival’s ecstatic anticipation of a Christian heaven on earth, the Guhu-Samane have had a hard time keeping hold of the sense of transformation that they experienced in 1977. The acrimonious schisms within the Christian community and broken promises from the national government about “development” contribute to the deep skepticism...

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Chapter 7. Mediating Denominational Disputes: Land Claims and the Sound of Christian Critique

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pp. 215-243

In The Social Sources of Denominationalism (1929) H. Richard Niebuhr describes the endless, cyclic movements between sects and churches that mark the history of American Protestantism. His model of denominationalism has been particularly infl uential for people working in the sociology of religion (see Johnson 1963; Swatos 1998 and references there). In this model...

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Chapter 8. Kinship, Christianity, and Culture Critique: Learning to Be a Lost Tribe of Israel in Papua New Guinea

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pp. 244-274

In the colonial world, Protestantism has had, at best, an ambivalent position with respect to European discourses of modernity and progress. Within Europe, religion was the premier antiprogressive force maintaining the status quo. Political liberalism defined the practice of critique as central to progress and defined religion as anti-critical, as keeping people...

Notes

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pp. 275-284

References

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pp. 285-300

Index

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pp. 301-308