Inaugural Workshop Gender and Christianity (21-23 April 2012)
â€śEstablishing a framework for the anthropological study of Gender and Christianityâ€ť
Bergen 21-23 April 2012, at Solstrand Hotel
This is the first workshop in a series of four on the â€śGender and Pentecostal Christianityâ€ť project. The main aim of this workshop is to single out gender as an analytical category in the anthropological study of Christianity. Although the project as such entails a specific focus on Pentecostal Christianity, this workshop will have a broader scope. In order to reveal the dynamics of gender in Pentecostal churches it is useful to also to include perspectives on different variants of Christianity in the two contexts included in this project; Africa and Melanesia. The more established colonial churches, the different variants of independent/indigenous churches as well as new Pentecostal churches are all of interest here.
The focus on gender as well will be broad. Gender can be defined very loosely as a signifying system, working on the logic of (often, but not always, binary) differentiation. Gender is thus a system of â€ścodesâ€ť, and, importantly, these codes express and reproduce fundamental value structures. Our focus thus needs to be on the one hand on gender as a fundamental part of social processes, on men and women and their different practices, roles and positions in the church. On the other hand we also need to include gender in a broader sense; gendered values, acts, ideas, texts, speech, dreams, etc. We aim at discussing a variety of aspects of gender tied to different forms of Christianity.
The hypothesis is that if gender is a crucial entry point into an understanding of how meaning and values are (re)produced, a focus on gender will also highlight how these are challenged and changed. If Â for instance Pentecostal Christianity represents a â€śnewâ€ť religious ethos, making people break away from the past (Meyer 2004, Engelke 2004), from â€śolderâ€ť churches and from â€śsinful livesâ€ť, creating radical breaks and often radical cultural change (Robbins 2004), will also fundamental gendered values be challenged? Or are gendered structures often re-produced in spite of fundamental cultural change?
By looking at different variants of Christianity and its gendered practices in Africa and Melanesia, we might be able to compare how, in different contexts and with different forms of Christianity, gendered systems are reproduced or changed within this religious ethos.
The workshop will be organized into an Africanist session and a Melanesianist session, with about 30 minutes presentation time for each speaker and 30 minutes for discussion. There will be two discussants for each session.
15.00 Arrival Solstrand
1600-1800 Meeting of the Advisory Board
20 00 Dinner
10.00-10.30 Welcome and Presentation of the project, by Annelin Eriksen
Session 1: Chair Edvard Hviding
Discussants Matthew Engelke and BjĂ¸rn Bertelsen
10.30-11.00 Prophets, Mothers, Pastors, and Widows: Hierarchy, Gender, and Gendered
Hierarchy in Copperbelt Pentecostalism, by NaomiÂ Haynes
11.30- 11.45 Coffee
11.45-12.15 The Gender of Sacrifice. Zulu and Christian Dilemmas, by Jone Salomonsen
14.30-15.00 Teaching monogamy:Â submissive wives and loving husbands, the challenges of a Christian marriage in South-east Republic of Benin, by Sitna Quiroz-Uria
15.45-16.15 Power and Possessions:Â Ecstatic Christianity, Gender and the Search for Commodities in Turkanaland, Northern Kenya, by Vigdis Broch Due
17.00-18.00 General Discussion: comments and suggestions from discussants
20. 00 Dinner
Session 2, Chair Vigdis Broch Due
Discussants: Anette Fagertun and Knut Rio
10.00-10.30 Gender as an analytical category in the anthropological study of Christianity, a case from Vanuatu, by Annelin Eriksen
11.00-11.30 The return of muscular Christianity: Masculine moralities at work in Solomon Islands sport, by Tom Mountjoy
1200-1330 Lunch and check out of rooms
1330-14.00 Holy Fathers and Patient Mothers: Dealing with Power in an Indigenous Melanesian Church, by Edvard Hviding
14.00 -1430 Discussion
14.30-1500 Spirit Women, Church women and Passenger women. Christianity, Gender and cultural Change in Melanesia, by Joel Robbins
1530-16.30 Coffeee and General discussion: Comments and suggestions from discussants
16.30 Transportation back to Bergen city center