Synopses & Reviews
In recent years, millions of people have joined churches such as the Seventh-day Adventist which prosper enormously in different parts of the world. The Road to Clarity is one of the first ethnographic in-depth studies of this phenomenon. It is a vivid account based on almost two years of participation in ordinary church members' daily religious and non-religious lives. The book offers a fascinating inquiry into the nature of long-term commitment to Adventism among rural people in Madagascar. Eva Keller argues that the key attraction of the church lies in the excitement of study, argument, and intellectual exploration. This is a novel approach which challenges utilitarian and cultural particularist explanations of the success of this kind of Christianity.
"This finely observed and gracefully written ethnography is focused on the intellectual life of Seventh-Day Adventists in Madagascar. In its emphasis on the role of Bible study, Socratic discussion and the search for intellectual satisfaction in grounding the religious commitment of Malagasy Adventists, the book stands out as absolutely unique- I have never read anything like it. Social scientists have far too long ignored the intellectual side of the Christian life, leaving us, among other things, flat-footed in the currently raging debate over the relationship between science and religion. Keller's important book fills the gap splendidly and stands as a landmark in the anthropological study of Christianity and religion more generally."--Joel Robbins, University of California, San Diego
The book examines people's commitment to Seventh-day Adventism in Madagascar and the contradictions involved in being an Adventist and at the same time being committed to local morality.
About the Author
Eva Keller is a Research Fellow at the University of Zurich. She received her PhD in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2002. She is currently carrying out research on a national park in Madagascar.
Table of Contents
People in Search of a Living * Christianity and Seventh-day Adventism in Madagascar * International and Local Structure of the Adventist Church * Profiles * Bible Study * Knowledge of the Bible and Scientific Inquiry * Text and Learning * The Great Controversy * The Construction and Rejection of Ancestral Religion * Making Choices * The Question of Kinship People in Search of a Living * Christianity and Seventh-day Adventism in Madagascar * International and Local Structure of the Adventist Church * Profiles * Bible Study * Knowledge of the Bible and Scientific Inquiry * Text and Learning * The Great Controversy * The Construction and Rejection of Ancestral Religion * Making Choices * The Question of Kinship