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Global Christianity in anthropological perspective

Courtney Handman
The University of Texas at Austin
Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 17:30

Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)


One characteristic that many religions seem to share is the problem of how to communicate with spirits, gods, or ancestors who are not able to interact with humans in the same ways that other humans usually can. This problem of communication and interaction with God is a particular concern for a wide variety of Christian communities. Moreover, it offers a productive entry-point for anthropologists to analyze how Christians organize themselves into groups, define their own senses of self, evangelize to others, relate to the material world, and critique their own and others’ practices. In fact, the Christian legacy of problematizing the proper form of communication with God is present even for seemingly non-Christian contemporary Americans who aim to be “spiritual but not religious.”