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Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Brown Man's Burden: Critiquing An American Restorationist Discourse

This Preaching Business

A Brown Man’s Burden:
Critiquing an American Restorationist Discourse
@ Scott Mágkachi Sabóy
Department of Language, Literature and the Arts
College of Arts and Communication
University of the Philippines Baguio

[-- published in the deGruyter-Mouton's International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2014 ( 229: 67 94);]

[Full Paper available upon request]

The American-born Stone-Campbell Movement, particularly its ecclesiastical offshoot, the Church/es of Christ, is one of the religious projects which was  exported to the Philippines along with the U.S.A.’s colonial mission in Asia.  Operating on a “restorationist” theological framework, it seeks a return to a “New Testament Christianity” uncorrupted by denominationalism. 

This paper proposes that the Church of Christ version of restorationism demonstrates the nature of discourse, in the Foucauldian sense – i.e., totalizing and regulative set of pronouncements and practices which provides for its own subversion and overthrow.  It attempts to show how, in its interface with the culture of the Igorots of Northern Philippines, it assumes a form of cultural imperialism which marginalizes the indigenous while spelling its own alienation with its West-centric orientation and ecclesiocentric language.

This study is framed not only by its appropriation of Foucault’s notion of discourse and of several Filipino missiologists’ concept of “Indigenized/Contextualized Theology,” but also by the author’s former subjection to the religious discourse under question. It joins the call for a continuous interrogation of Western religious discourses imposed upon or coopted by Philippine and other Asian societies with the end view of fostering interethnic dialogue and understanding between and among Asian and non-Asian cultures.

Keywords: Restorationism, Church/es of Christ, discourse, ecclesiology, American Exceptionalism, Western franchise, Igorots, Cordillera, indigenous, contextualized theology



Glen Gawe said...

Bro. keen on reading this paper if you can send me the full article that would be good. Thanks Glen

Tuvyan said...

g'day bro, sure! can you please send a message to so i can attach the file to my reply. couldn't find your email addy ya. thanks! :)