The limits of meaning : case studies in the anthropology of Christianity



The limits of meaning : case studies in the anthropology of Christianity

edited by Matthew Engelke and Matt Tomlinson

Berghahn Books, 2007

  • : pbk

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 2



First published in hardcover in 2006

Includes bibliographical references and index


  • Meaning, anthropology, Christianity / Matt Tomlinson and Matthew Engelke
  • When silence isn't golden : charismatic speech and the limits of literalism / Simon Coleman
  • Clarity and charisma : on the uses of ambiguity in ritual life / Matthew Engelke
  • Rituals without final acts : prayer and success in World Vision Zimbabwe's humanitarian work / Erica Bornstein
  • Nationalism and millenarianism in West Papua : institutional power, interpretive practice, and the pursuit of Christian truth / Danilyn Rutherford
  • The limits of meaning in Fijian Methodist sermons / Matt Tomlinson
  • Converting meanings and the meanings of conversion in Samoan moral economies / Ilana Gershon
  • Dusty signs and roots of faith : the limits of Christian meaning in highland Bolivia / Andrew Orta
  • Paranomics : on the semiotics of sacral action / James D. Faubion
  • Afterword : on limits, ruptures, meaning, and meaninglessness / Joel Robbins



Too often, anthropological accounts of ritual leave readers with the impression that everything goes smoothly, that rituals are "meaningful events." But what happens when rituals fail, or when they seem "meaningless"? Drawing on research in the anthropology of Christianity from around the globe, the authors in this volume suggest that in order to analyze meaning productively, we need to consider its limits. This collection is a welcome new addition to the anthropology of religion, offering fresh debates on a classic topic and drawing attention to meaning in a way that other volumes have for key terms like "culture" and "fieldwork.


Acknowledgements Chapter 1. Meaning, Anthropology, Christianity Matt Tomlinson and Matthew Engelke Chapter 2. When Silence isn't Golden: Charismatic Speech and the Limits of Literalism Simon Coleman Chapter 3. Clarity and Charisma: On the Uses of Ambiguity in Ritual Life Matthew Engelke Chapter 4. Rituals without Final Acts: Prayer and Success in World Vision Zimbabwe's Humanitarian Work Erica Bornstein Chapter 5. Nationalism and Millenarianism in West Papua: Institutional Power, Interpretive Practice, and the Pursuit of Christian Truth Danilyn Rutherford Chapter 6. The Limits of Meaning in Fijian Methodist Sermons Matt Tomlinson Chapter 7. Converting Meanings and the Meanings of Conversion in Samoan Moral Economies Ilana Gershon Chapter 8. Dusty Signs and Roots of Faith: The Limits of Christian Meaning in Highland Bolivia Andrew Orta Chapter 9. Paranomics: On the Semiotics of Sacral Action James D. Faubion Afterword: On Limits, Ruptures, Meaning, and Meaninglessness Joel Robbins List of Contributors Index

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