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Oneness and ‘the church in Taiwan’ Anthropology Is Possible without Relations but Not without Things

Breen, GP; (2021) Oneness and ‘the church in Taiwan’ Anthropology Is Possible without Relations but Not without Things. Social Analysis , 65 (1) pp. 44-69. 10.3167/sa.2021.650103. Green open access

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Abstract

Worldwide followers of the late Chinese Christian reformers Watchman Nee and Witness Lee share a central concern with human-divine ‘oneness’, but there are different understandings in different localities about how such oneness works. I utilize one such difference by analyzing group unity in Euro-America using Taiwanese understandings of oneness, which involve things (selfsame unities) but not relations. Experimenting with Dumontian, Strathernian, and object-oriented anthropologies, I show that anthropological analysis is currently possible (a) by emphasizing things, (b) by emphasizing relations, and (c) entirely without relations. Anthropology entirely without things, however, has not yet been achieved. I conclude by suggesting reasons why we might want to attain this final possibility in our approach to things and/or relations.

Type: Article
Title: Oneness and ‘the church in Taiwan’ Anthropology Is Possible without Relations but Not without Things
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3167/sa.2021.650103
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3167/sa.2021.650103
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Christianity; comparison; Dumont; object-oriented ontology; relations; Strathern; Taiwan
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131906
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