Minna Opas

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Religious imaginaries and modernisation: The dynamics of world-making among Amazonian Indigenous Christians

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This project explores the role of religious imaginaries in shaping people’s lived worlds. More specifically, it concentrates on the ways in which different Christian imaginaries affect people’s understandings of the self, the other and the transcendent, and on how, if at all, in doing so, Christianity works as a modernising force in people’s worlds. Research material in the study will be formed among Indigenous Yine second generation Christians living in the Peruvian Amazonia. 

The principal motivator behind the project is in social sciences widely discussed problem concerning the relation between Christianity and modernisation: is Christianity, when spreading to new locations, an inevitably modernising force?

The project approaches the question of modernisation and Christianity through the notion of ‘imaginaries’. The imaginary here does not signify the untrue or non-existent, but is firmly attached to the present. The activity of imagining depends on the existing social and material conditions and is therefore necessarily social, however individually exercised.

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