Masters of Psalmody (bimo
) Aurélie Névot analyses the religious, political and theoretical issues of a scriptural shamanism observed in southwestern China among the Yi-Sani. Her focus is on blood sacrifices and chants based on a secret and labile writing handled only by ritualists called
Through ethnographic data, the author presents the still little known
bimo metaphysics and unravels the complexity of the local text-based ritual system in which the continuity of each
bimo lineage relies on the transmission of manuscripts whose writing relates to lineage blood. While illuminating the usages of this shamanistic tradition that is characterized by scriptural variability between patrilineages, Aurélie Névot highlights the radical changes it is undergoing by becoming a Chinese state tradition.
Travelling Pasts, edited by Burkhard Schnepel and Tansen Sen, offers an innovative exploration of the issue of heritage in the Indian Ocean world. This collection of essays demonstrates how the heritagization of the past has played a vital role in processes and strategies related to the making of socio-cultural identities, the establishing of political legitimacies, and the pursuit of economic and geopolitical gains. The contributions range from those dealing with the impact of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention in the Indian Ocean world as a whole to those that address the politics of cultural heritage in various distinct maritime sites such as Zanzibar, Mayotte, Cape Town, the Maldives, Calcutta and Penang. Also examined are the Maritime Silk Road and the Project Mausam initiatives of the Chinese and Indian governments respectively. The volume is an important contribution to the transdisciplinary fields on Indian Ocean Studies.
The Mission of Development interrogates the complex relationships between Christian mission and international development in Asia from the 19th century to the new millennium. Through historically and ethnographically grounded case studies, contributors examine how missionaries have adapted to and shaped the age of development and processes of ‘technocratisation’, as well as how mission and development have sometimes come to be cast in opposition. The volume takes up an increasingly prominent strand in contemporary research that reverses the prior occlusion of the entanglements between religion and development. It breaks new ground through its analysis of the techno-politics of both development and mission, and by focusing on the importance of engagements and encounters in the field in Asia.
Gender Relations in an Indonesian Society offers a comprehensive ethnography of Bugis marriage through an exploration of gender identity and sexuality in this bilateral, highly competitive, hierarchical society.
Nurul Ilmi Idrus considers the fundamental concept of
siriq (honour; shame) in relation to gender socialization, courtship, sex within marriage, the regulation of sexuality between genders, the importance of kinship and status in marriage, and the dynamics of marriage, divorce, and reconciliation. This analysis considers the practical combination of Islamic tenets with local
adat (custom; customary law) and the effect of contemporary Indonesia’s national ideology on cultural practices specific to Bugis society.
Drawing on first person accounts,
Asia in the Making of Christianity studies conversion in the lives of Christians throughout Asia, past and present. Fifteen contributors treat perennial questions about conversion: continuity and discontinuity, conversion and communal conflict, and the politics of conversion. Some study individuals (An Chunggŭn of Korea, Liang Fa of China, Nehemiah Goreh of India), while others treat ethnolinguistic groups or large-scale movements. Converts sometimes appear as proto-nationalists, while others are suspected of cultural treason. Some transition effortlessly from leadership in one religious community into Christian ministry, while others re-convert to new forms of Christianity. The accounts collected here underscore the complexity of conversion, balancing individual agency with broader social trends and combining micro- with macrocontextual approaches.
This study, done within the comprehensive Weberian framework, focuses on religion and social change in Bangladesh through an imaginative use of qualitative as well as quantitative methods of modern social research.
It first provides a sociological interpretation of the origin and development of Islam in Bengal using historical and literary works on Bengal. The main contribution is based on two sample surveys conducted by Mrs. Banu in 20 villages of Bangladesh and in three areas in the metropolitan Dhaka city. Using these survey data, she gives a sociological analysis of Islamic religious beliefs and practices in contemporary Bangladesh, and more importantly, she studies the impact of the Islamic religious beliefs on the socio- economic development and political culture in present-day Bangladesh. She also shows how Islam compares with modern education in social 'transforming capacity'.
This careful and rigorous work is a notable contribution to sociology of religion and helps to deepen our understanding of the interactions between religious and social changes common to many parts of the Third World.