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Title: Growing Gods : Bidayuh processes of religious change in Sarawak, Malaysia
Author: Harris, Fiona M.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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In 1959, a road was built from Kuching, the state capital of Sarawak, to Padawan on the Indonesian border. This road facilitated an increased flow of people and commodities between the villages of the Padawan area and ‘urban’ centres. Soon, mission schools and wage labour followed, and as rice gradually shifted from the centre to the periphery of most people’s lives, the path was made clear for the first conversions to Catholicism. This thesis explores processes of religious change through discussions of the motivating factors behind ‘conversion’ and by exploring how the adoption of Catholicism articulates with the lifeworld as it was before baptism. Although this research focuses primarily on Kampung Gayu and its offshoot villages, the analysis presented here contributes to a growing body of literature on the anthropology of ‘conversion’. Dominant themes from studies of Southeast Asian kinship are drawn together to show how these can effectively enhance an understanding of religious change: particularly by exploring relatedness, sociality and incorporation. Furthermore, the notion of ‘fluidity’ provides a conceptual starting point from which the analysis explores ‘ethnicity’ and the production of locality, power and ‘potency’, house form, and work, ritual and the economy. The thesis demonstrates how a broad range of theoretical interests are implicated in the study of ‘conversion’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available