Bringing Kierkegaard into anthropology

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard offers two concepts that can strengthen anthropological analyses of Christianity. The first is "repetition," or the act of "recollecting forward," which provides a model of transformation that depends neither on deep continuity nor on decisive break. The second is "absurdity," the faithful but painful acceptance of paradox as irreducible to logical resolution, which challenges eudemonic understandings of Christianity as a religion oriented toward comfort and satisfaction. I demonstrate the usefulness of Kierkegaard's concepts through an analysis of indigenous Fijian Methodists' interest in repeatedly engaging with curses from ancestors as a way to overcome them.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)163-175
    JournalAmerican Ethnologist
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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