PRESERVING BODIES, SAVING SOULS: RELIGIOUS INCONGRUITY IN A NORTHERN MALAGASY MINING TOWN

PRESERVING BODIES, SAVING SOULS: RELIGIOUS INCONGRUITY IN A NORTHERN MALAGASY MINING TOWN PRESERVING BODIES, SAVING SOULS: RELIGIOUS INCONGRUITY IN A NORTHERN MALAGASY MINING TOWN 1 by ANDREW WALSH (Mount Allison University) ABSTRACT This article discusses the manifestation of incongruent religious ideals in a north- ern Malagasy sapphire mining community. It focuses particularly on how mem- bers of an Evangelical Christian congregation and long-time resident animists of the place interpret one another’s practices, and on how these interpretations re ect a fundamental disparity in how they understand the material world that they share. It argues that the con ict that has emerged between them can only be understood in light of this signiŽ cant disparity. Introduction In July 1999 a congregation of ‘Jesus Saves’ ( Jesosy Mamonjy ) Christians built a new meeting hall on the western side of the north-south road that runs through the northern Malagasy town of Ambondromifehy. Covering about 2500 square feet on the banks of the small lake from which the town gets its name, this new hall was much larger and more solidly built than the one it replaced, its well-funded construction tes- tament to the e V ect of a thriving sapphire trade on the town’s expand- ing ranks of ‘saved’ migrant miners. On http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Religion in Africa Brill

PRESERVING BODIES, SAVING SOULS: RELIGIOUS INCONGRUITY IN A NORTHERN MALAGASY MINING TOWN

Journal of Religion in Africa, Volume 32 (3): 366 – Jan 1, 2002

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2002 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0022-4200
eISSN
1570-0666
D.O.I.
10.1163/157006602760599953
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PRESERVING BODIES, SAVING SOULS: RELIGIOUS INCONGRUITY IN A NORTHERN MALAGASY MINING TOWN 1 by ANDREW WALSH (Mount Allison University) ABSTRACT This article discusses the manifestation of incongruent religious ideals in a north- ern Malagasy sapphire mining community. It focuses particularly on how mem- bers of an Evangelical Christian congregation and long-time resident animists of the place interpret one another’s practices, and on how these interpretations re ect a fundamental disparity in how they understand the material world that they share. It argues that the con ict that has emerged between them can only be understood in light of this signiŽ cant disparity. Introduction In July 1999 a congregation of ‘Jesus Saves’ ( Jesosy Mamonjy ) Christians built a new meeting hall on the western side of the north-south road that runs through the northern Malagasy town of Ambondromifehy. Covering about 2500 square feet on the banks of the small lake from which the town gets its name, this new hall was much larger and more solidly built than the one it replaced, its well-funded construction tes- tament to the e V ect of a thriving sapphire trade on the town’s expand- ing ranks of ‘saved’ migrant miners. On

Journal

Journal of Religion in AfricaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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