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Christianity, conversion and local culture

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  1. Introduction
  2. From missionaries of empire to missionaries of development
  3. Charitable organizations helped to suppress anti-colonial struggles
  4. The missionary position or an agenda for emancipation
  5. Hawaiian identity
  6. Space, settlement and segregation: ancestral form
  7. The missionary presence
  8. Conclusion

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'

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