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Priests, Witches and Power
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 (ISBN-13: 9780511059698 | ISBN-10: 0511059698)

In the aftermath of colonial mission, Christianity has come to have widespread acceptance in Southern Tanzania. In this book, Maia Green explores contemporary Catholic practice in a rural community of Southern Tanzania. Setting the adoption of Christianity and the suppression of witchcraft in a historical context, she suggests that power relations established during the colonial period continue to hold between both popular Christianity and orthodoxy, and local populations and indigenous clergy. Paradoxically, while local practices around the constitution of kinship and personhood remain defiantly free of Christian elements, they inform a popular Christianity experienced as a system of substances and practices. This book offers a challenge to idealist and interpretative accounts of African participation in twentieth-century religious forms, and argues for a politically grounded analysis of historical processes. It will appeal widely to scholars and students of anthropology, sociology and African Studies; particularly those interested in religion and kinship.

• Virtually the only ethnographic account of contemporary Catholic practice in East Africa • Engages with current debates in anthropology and social theory about gender, symbolism and religion • Contains information about other ritual practices to do with kinship, ageing and death


List of maps; Preface; 1. Global Christianity and the structure of power; 2. Colonial conquest and the consolidation of marginality; 3, Evangelisation in Ulanga; 4. The persistence of mission; 5. Popular Christianity; 6. Kinship and the creation of relationship; 7. Engendering power; 8. Women's work; 9. Witchcraft suppression practices and movements; 10. Matters of substance; Notes; List of references; Index.


'Maia Green's book gives us a fascinating specimen …' Tanzanian Affairs

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