This paper explores the politics of conversion in the Colombian Amazon, comparing missionary narratives of conversion with indigenous accounts of conversion. It shows how conversion to Christianity articulates new meanings of indigeneity today in Amazonia. Using ethnographic evidence, documents and interviews, the paper demonstrates that neither the missionaries nor the indigenous populations view conversion only as rupture. Although they recognize the transformational process involved in conversion, they both emphasize cultural continuity, albeit for different reasons. It also analyses how indigenous pastors and missionaries combine narratives of rupture and narratives of continuity while articulating a new kind of indigeneity (Christian indigeneity), and a specific politics of conversion. In this context, politics of conversion articulates emergent regimes of indigeneity that postulate strong complementarities between Christianity and indigenous values.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Religious studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)