Missions and Conversions: Creating the Montagnard-Dega by T. Pearson

By T. Pearson

This examine bargains a clean analyzing of non secular conversion by way of studying quite a few “missionaries” that sought to persuade the Montagnard-Dega refugee. Thomas Pearson makes use of ethnographic and archival study to inform the tale of cross-cultural touch within the highlands in the course of the Vietnam conflict, Christian conversion, refugee exile, and the formation of the Dega refugee neighborhood within the usa. His insightful examine considers not only evangelicals and Catholics, yet humanitarian employees within the highlands, refugee resettlement volunteers within the usa, and the yankee targeted Forces infantrymen. This ebook makes the case that the Dega have appropriated the anthropological and spiritual discourses of this disparate workforce of missionaries to recreate themselves via a multivalent “conversion.”

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Additional resources for Missions and Conversions: Creating the Montagnard-Dega Refugee Community (Contemporary Anthropology of Religion)

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But when necessary, he falls back on the missionary’s universalist imperative to change that culture by changing its religious beliefs and practices. ) He rarely addresses this apparent contradiction head on. When he writes for fellow evangelists (not fellow linguists), he marshals his arguments to overcome their assumed cultural chauvinism and their suspicions, if not hostility, toward anthropology. In these texts he feels no need to justify evangelism—only the need to temper it (or really, to sharpen it) through missionary practices informed by scientific ethnography.

Com - licensed to Chung Hua University - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-04 34 R E P R E S E N T I N G T H E M O N TAG N A R D S 35 Vietnam was losing the fight to preserve its liberty. That liberty may not have been perfect, but we missionaries were free to tell every man we met of Christ, God’s Son. Many were converted in spite of great difficulties. S. began to give greater aid to Vietnam. Many thousands of our men went to help a country unable to help itself . . Perhaps it would help you to know that we had 2,000 baptisms among the Vietnamese and the tribespeople during 1962.

Finally, it is significant that the new highland elites articulated their pan-highland Montagnard ethnonationalist identity in opposition to the emerging Vietnamese nation, not French colonial rule— which managed to present itself as the protectors of Montagnard culture against the rapacious Vietnamese nationalists. French monographs after World War II replaced the presumptions and prejudices of evolutionary anthropology with an explicit cultural-relativism— often drawing sentimental and romanticized images of noble savages tragically doomed to extinction.

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