Conversion and the Alignments of Colonial Culture

in Social Sciences and Missions
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Abstract

This essay – composed to honor Of Revelation and Revolution on its twentieth anniversary – argues that conversion was a means by which hegemonic cultural discourses were rendered subject to examination. The focus is on the East African Revival, a Christian conversion movement that began in Rwanda and spread throughout east Africa over the course of the 1940s and 50s. Following the directions given in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, revivalists sorted through cultural property, identified their sins, and set themselves in motion toward another world. Their path set them at a tangent from the dialectics of the colonial encounter. In the study of the Revival we can see conversion as a political action that unsettles the alignments of colonial culture.

Conversion and the Alignments of Colonial Culture

in Social Sciences and Missions

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