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Imitating Christ in Magwi: An Anthropological Theology - T&T Clark Studies in Social Ethics, Ethnography and Theology (Paperback)
  • Imitating Christ in Magwi: An Anthropological Theology - T&T Clark Studies in Social Ethics, Ethnography and Theology (Paperback)
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Imitating Christ in Magwi: An Anthropological Theology - T&T Clark Studies in Social Ethics, Ethnography and Theology (Paperback)

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£21.99
Paperback 400 Pages / Published: 24/01/2019
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Imitating Christ in Magwi: An Anthropological Theology achieves two things. First, focusing on indigenous Roman Catholics in northern Uganda and South Sudan, it is a detailed ethnography of how a community sustains hope in the midst of one of the most brutal wars in recent memory, that between the Ugandan government and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army. Whitmore finds that the belief that the spirit of Jesus Christ can enter into a person through such devotions as the Adoration of the Eucharist gave people the wherewithal to carry out striking works of mercy during the conflict, and, like Jesus of Nazareth, to risk their lives in the process. Traditional devotion leveraged radical witness. Second, Gospel Mimesis is a call for theology itself to be a practice of imitating Christ. Such practice requires both living among people on the far margins of society - Whitmore carried out his fieldwork in Internally Displaced Persons camps - and articulating a theology that foregrounds the daily, if extraordinary, lives of people. Here, ethnography is not an add-on to theological concepts; rather, ethnography is a way of doing theology, and includes what anthropologists call "thick description" of lives of faith. Unlike theology that draws only upon abstract concepts, what Whitmore calls "anthropological theology" is consonant with the fact that God did indeed become human. It may well involve risk to one's own life - Whitmore had to leave Uganda for three years after writing an article critical of the President - but that is what imitatio Christi sometimes requires.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9780567684172
Number of pages: 400
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
One of the most exciting areas of research in Religion is the rapidly developing field of Theological Ethnography. Todd Whitmore's Imitating Christ in Magwi is a landmark publication that sets out to explore this new way of theologising that takes place in and through ethnographic fieldwork. This book is much more than a study of communities in the war torn areas of Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan; it is a reflexive commentary of what it means to do theology in relation to an immersion in context. As such, it is a must read for anyone setting out to do theologically orientated ethnographic research. * Pete Ward, Durham University, UK *
In Imitating Christ in Magwi, Todd David Whitmore has given us a major methodological statement for work at the intersections of theology and anthropology. Even more, he has given us imitations of Christ that invite and inform further imitations of Christ. This is theology in the flesh. * Ted A. Smith, Emory University, USA *
Todd Whitmore is a practical theologian who takes both theology and ethnography seriously. His work resonates with the heart of the emerging field of theological ethnography; demanding that theological concerns are at the forefront of the ethnographic research process. In this book he opens up fresh space for the development not only of new ecclesial possibilities, but further understanding of humanity. He offers us an anthropological ethnography that not only embodies substantial theological claims, but also provides new and transformative ways of looking at humans and humanness. This book is a gem. * John Swinton, King's College University of Aberdeen, UK *
Imitating Christ in Magwi offers the chance to understand not simply the different cultures of Northern Uganda and South Sudan, but also the character of Gospel mimesis ---the imitation of Jesus---as born out in fleshly, enculturated forms of African faith. These material practices of faith are explored ethnographically as responses to the atrocities and brutal conflicts inflicted on these communities through Empire, providing a rich perspective on theological anthropology. * Mary McClintock Fulkerson, Duke Divinity School, USA *
Todd Whitmore brings his exquisite intelligence, prodigious inter-disciplinary knowledge, and searching faith to bear in this highly original work of anthropological theology. What does it mean to imitate Christ?[...] This is an inspiring account of mimetic faith, one that is fully informed by Catholic moral theology, biblical scholarship, and the personal struggle of a researcher to come to terms with what he learns. * Mary Clark Moschella, Yale Divinity School, USA *

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