Publisher description for Matters of substance : popular Christianity and the persistence of mission in Southern Tanzania / Maia Green.


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Counter In the aftermath of colonial mission, Christianity has come to have widespread acceptance in Southern Tanzania. In this book, Maia Green explores contemporary Catholic practice in a rural community of Southern Tanzania. Setting the adoption of Christianity and the suppression of witchcraft in a historical context, she suggests that power relations established during the colonial period continue to hold between both popular Christianity and orthodoxy, and local populations and indigenous clergy. Paradoxically, while local practices around the constitution of kinship and personhood remain defiantly free of Christian elements, they inform a popular Christianity experienced as a system of substances and practices. This book offers a challenge to idealist and interpretative accounts of African participation in twentieth-century religious forms, and argues for a politically grounded analysis of historical processes. It will appeal widely to scholars and students of anthropology, sociology and African Studies; particularly those interested in religion and kinship.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Catholic Church Tanzania Ulanga District History 20th century, Ulanga District (Tanzania) Church history 20th century, Ulanga District (Tanzania) Religious life and customs