Carrying culture and re(creating) nation through Christianity : Minahasan culture and identity in transnational Indonesian churches in New England

Swazey, Kelli A.
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This thesis investigates how individuals from Minahasa, a predominantly Christian region in North Sulawesi, use a Christian ideology to transpose the compartmentalization of national, ethnic and religious identities used in Indonesia to manage diversity, making religious identity the transcendent principle of national and ethnic identification in transnational, multi-ethnic Indonesian churches in New England. Minahasans experience their ethnic identity as based in a Christian ontology, a model that exists in tension with the Indonesian national construction of the relationship between ethnicity, national identity and religious affiliation. This work considers how Minahasan identity construction has historically been located in relationships of Christianity that connected the region with the world beyond the Indonesian archipelago. This history enables Minahasans to realize a dream of religious nationalism in the United States, converging the Christian practices and beliefs that transmit pre-colonial forms Minahasan cultural identity with national identity in ways difficult to achieve within Indonesian borders.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 169-176).
ix, 176 leaves, bound 29 cm
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