American Anthropological Association (AAA): Nov. 28 – Dec. 2 2007
Please send paper abstracts (250 words) and direct inquiries to: Lydia Boyd (email@example.com) by March 15th.
Hookin’ up (with Jesus): Kinship, Desire, and Love among born-again young adults in the Global South
Christian conversion, particularly in formerly colonized locales, has tended to generate reconfigurations of social, political and personal relationships. The 21st century has seen a surge in popularity of evangelical and Pentecostal forms of Christianity, most notably in the Global South. For young adults, who are often marginalized members of societies where status increases with age, evangelical and Pentecostal churches facilitate alternative relationships both outside of and within their families, schools, and jobs. These relationships are notable both in how they reconfigure believers’ notions of social and familial obligation, and in the way they reflect new desires, and stresses, concerning the individual’s place in the world.
This panel addresses the relationships of evangelical young adults in the broadest sense. It approaches this topic through an examination of how Churches encourage young people to reimagine and refashion their notions of relationships, love, and familial obligation. How are young Christians taught to understand and experience romantic, filial, and divine love? What are the implications of these lessons for converts’ experiences of kinship, gender, and sexuality?
Papers are welcomed that address any of the following sets of questions or related topics:
How do church teachings on the “Christian family” shape young people’s relationships to their immediate and extended families? How are notions of kinship refigured, complicated, and/or reinforced by church membership? What practices of courting and marriage are encouraged by churches?
What conceptualization of masculinity and femininity are solidified or challenged within churches? How does “maleness” and “femaleness” restrict or enable certain relationships?
How are sexual desires managed within church communities? How are churches impacting youth sexual practices?
What notions of “Christian love” inform young people’s concepts of love (romantic, filial and/or divine)? How are these concepts of “love” related to projects of the self and new notions of personhood?
How is “love” expressed within Christian communities? What types of emotional expression are acceptable within these communities and what types are forbidden?
Churches are sites where “desires” are both curtailed and expressed. What other “desires” are apparent in believers’ lives and what conflicts arise regarding the church’s management of these desires?
Interested parties should send abstracts (250 words) for 15 minute papers to Lydia Boyd (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 15th.
If you have questions, please contact Lydia Boyd (email@example.com).
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