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A place for harmonious difference : Christianity and the mediation of Minahasan identity in the North Sulawesi public

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Item Summary

Title: A place for harmonious difference : Christianity and the mediation of Minahasan identity in the North Sulawesi public
Authors: Swazey, Kelli Alicia
Keywords: Minahasans
Issue Date: May 2013
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2013]
Abstract: Christianity is a defining force in the mobilization and mediation of Minahasan identity in North Sulawesi. Focusing on how religions function as historically-bound systems of classification that provide a logic for the social construction of boundaries, I examine Christianity's role in defining local identity in Indonesia, and in relation to theories of selfhood that rely on concepts of place to define difference.
In North Sulawesi, displays, performances and discourses circulate that address the historical alignment of Protestant Christianity with Minahasan identity and cultural practice, a convergence that cedes ownership of culture to only one portion of a diverse regional population. By documenting expressions, narrations, responses and explanations that constitute metacultural understandings about what defines the difference between religion and culture in Indonesia as nationally distinct categories, I investigate the project of promoting Minahasa as an ethnolocal identity with attention to how the management of religious diversity structures the way that minority religious groups seek to maintain a tie between religion and regional identity without openly impugning the Muslim majority. I argue that the process of questioning the relationship between culture and religion has opened a space for consocial forms of identity to become characteristics of categorical belonging inclusive of non-Christian populations in the region, demonstrating how the public circulation of metacultural discourses drives cultural change as part of social differentiation and representation in Indonesia.
As the newly-infused political viability of representations of tradition (adat) in a decentralizing Indonesia provide new alternatives for organizing under regional or "cultural" identity, Christian Minahasans debate the possibility of a culture without Christianity, potentially changing the parameters of belonging along with the definition of "local" culture's relationship to religion.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Anthropology

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