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Praying and Preying

Christianity in Indigenous Amazonia (The Anthropology of Christianity #19)

Aparecida Vilaca


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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (3/29/2016)


Praying and Preying offers one of the rare anthropological monographs on the Christian experience of contemporary Amazonian indigenous peoples, based on an ethnographic study of the relationship between the Wari’, inhabitants of Brazilian Amazonia, and the Evangelical missionaries of the New Tribes Mission. Vilaça turns to a vast range of historical, ethnographic and mythological material related to both the Wari’ and missionaries perspectives and the author’s own ethnographic field notes from her more than 30-year involvement with the Wari’ community. Developing a close dialogue between the Melanesian literature, which informs much of the recent work in the Anthropology of Christianity, and the concepts and theories deriving from Amazonian ethnology, in particular the notions of openness to the other, unstable dualism, and perspectivism, the author provides a fine-grained analysis of the equivocations and paradoxes that underlie the translation processes performed by the different agents involved and their implications for the transformation of the native notion of personhood.  

Praise For Praying and Preying: Christianity in Indigenous Amazonia (The Anthropology of Christianity #19)

"Praying and Preying is a remarkably original and important study."

— Anthropology Review Database

University of California Press, 9780520289147, 330pp.

Publication Date: March 29, 2016

About the Author

Aparecida Vilaça is Associate Professor at the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology at the Museu Nacional, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. She is the author of Strange EnemiesQuem somos nós, and Comendo como gente and coeditor of Native Christians