The work on participation shows how western NGOs need to convert' locals to the project's agenda, in such a way that the project's ideas become their ideas. This analogy with religious conversion prompts us to look at the historical and ongoing waves of religious missioning that precede contemporary development'. We look at the process of conversion, why it happens on a social scale, and at who is converting whom. We also look at the analogies and parallels between what missionaries did historically and what development projects do in contemporary world.
Horton Oon African religion and conversion
-Horton saw traditional societies as operating in microcosms', localities with a local plurality of deities
-When supra-local relations develop (long-distance exchange, war, colonization, etc.), supreme beings' emerge
-African religions were not static and timeless, even though their adherents may claim this
-supreme beings' emerged in many African contexts, usually coexisting with local pantheons
-Outsider monotheistic religions (Islam, Christianity) only took air were such changes were already in the air'
[...] Christianity, conversion and local culture The work on participation shows how western NGOs need to ‘convert' locals to the project's agenda, in such a way that the project's ideas become their ideas. This analogy with religious conversion prompts us to look at the historical and ongoing waves of religious missioning that precede contemporary ‘development'. We look at the process of conversion, why it happens on a social scale, and at who is converting whom. We also look at the analogies and parallels between what missionaries did historically and what development projects do in contemporary world. [...]
[...] Charitable organizations helped to suppress anti-colonial struggles ( e.g. in Kenya, the Women's association Maendeleo Ya Wanawake (MYWO) + the Christian Council of Kenya (CCK) were involved in governmental schemes designed to subvert black resistance during the Mau-Mau uprising. Anti-colonial revolution ( missionary and voluntary organizations faced a crisis: the nationalist movements based their accession to power on a social contract with the popular movements that they led and that had been repressed by such organization ( lack of legitimacy after independence. [...]
[...] The missionaries often taught less in the way of religion and spirituality, and more in the way of practical aspects of everyday life. Gender, the body and the constitution of the family often came to form a major focus of what they tried to instil into local populations, always assuming that Western gender relations and the nuclear family were what other peoples should aspire to. Patricia Grimshaw - New England Missionaries Wives, Hawaiian women, and ‘the cult of true womanhood' Story of former Hawaiian queen placed in position of inferiority by the missionaries which require her to change. [...]
[...] However, many of the old patterns remain. The ‘mal' persists as a venue for male socializing and Kara drinking (even though it became non-exclusivist). Women are more seen by men as auxiliaries than equal patterns. ⇨ The Catholic Mission and the Melanesian Mission were far more tolerant (adaptation) than the Church of Christ (abolition). [...]
[...] Adopting the new religion benefited the Hawaiian leaders who managed to stay in office thanks to the missionaries support; on the other hand, they were used by the missionaries to spread Catholicism. o Missionaries proceeded to change every element constituting the Hawaiian identity (leisure, clothes, sexuality, etc.) to make their lives conform to their conception of morality. Focus on the submissiveness of the woman in the marriage. Clear gender division of labor. o Nonetheless, the American division of labor did not fit in the Hawaiian culture, as the evangelists neglected the Hawaiian particularisms in their will to impose a so-called universal vision of gender roles. [...]
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