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The Mission of Development

Religion and Techno-Politics in Asia


Edited by Catherine Scheer, Philip Fountain and R. Michael Feener

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.
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Transnational Religious Organization and Practice

A Contextual Analysis of Kerala Pentecostal Churches in Kuwait


Stanley J. Valayil C. John

In Transnational Religious Organization and Practice Stanley John provides the first in-depth analysis of a migrant Christian community in the Arabian Gulf. The book explores how Kerala (South India) Pentecostal churches in Kuwait organize and practice their Christian faith, given the status of their congregants as temporary economic migrants and noting that the transient status heightens their transnational orientation toward their homeland in India.

The research follows a twofold agenda: first, examining the unique sociopolitical and migrational context within which the KPCs function, and second, analyzing the transnational character and structural patterns that have emerged in this context. The ethnographic research identifies and analyzes the emerging structures and practices of the KPCs through three lenses: networks, agents, and mission. This study concludes with a proposal for an interdisciplinary theoretical framework to be employed in the study of transnational religious communities.
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Joelle Rollo-Koster

Throughout the European Middle Ages, the death of high-ranking prelates was usually interwoven with violent practices. During Empty Sees, mobs ransacked bishops’ and popes’ properties to loot their movable goods. Eventually, in the later Middle Ages, they also plundered the goods of newly-elected popes, and the cells of the Conclave. This book follows and analyzes the history of this violence, using a methodology akin to cultural anthropology, with concepts such as liminal periodization. It contends that pillaging was attached to ecclesiastical interregna, and the nature of ecclesiastical elections contributed to a pillaging ‘problem.’ This approach allows for a fresh reading and re-contextualization of one of the greatest political crises of the later Middle Ages, the Great Western Schism.