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Institutskolloquium: Imam Ardhianto (Uni Freiburg) "Hierarchy and Socio-Religious Dynamics: The Fall of Adat, Church-Making, and Interdenominational Relations among the Kenyah in Central Borneo"

Wann 24.04.2018
von 18:00 bis 20:00
Wo Werthmannstr. 10, Seminarraum
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The topic of this project are the dynamic aspects of hierarchic and individual-egalitarian socio-religious forms in Central Borneo following the introduction of Christianity in the 1930’s. It problematizes a taken for granted dichotomy of hierarchic vs. egalitarian structures in the debate of socio-religious forms and religious authority in previous literature of Borneo studies, and in the anthropology of Christianity in general. Different from the dichotomist approach, my research considers both individual-egalitarian and hierarchical aspects as intrinsic and necessary in the context of religious change. The contestation between both forms is necessary in the context of Kenyah history as it is used to incorporate religious power both by the aristocrats (Paren) and the commoners (Panyin) in various periods of history. This study will illustrate and analyze the tension that appears in the withdrawal of pre-Christian cosmology and the old taboo system, namely Adat, the self-planting church-making process, and interdenominational relations in recent times among the Kenyah Christian Community. The Kenyah live dispersed in Central Borneo, a region comprising both the border region of Indonesia and Sarawak on the Island of Borneo. They were considered as one of the prototypes of a stratified society. However, during the last decades, the ethnic groups were influenced by Pentecostal-evangelic Christianity that promotes an egalitarian vision of liturgy, institutional forms and religious practices. How can the various historical narratives and recent socio-religious changes among the Kenyah reveal the dynamics between hierarchy and individual-egalitarian aspects of their religious life? What kind of insights can be gained from this aspect to contribute to the discussion of religion, cultural change, and politics?

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