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The "transparency" of Christian proselytizing in Kyrgyzstan

Pelkmans, Mathijs ORCID: 0000-0001-5188-3470 (2009) The "transparency" of Christian proselytizing in Kyrgyzstan. Anthropological Quarterly, 82 (2). pp. 423-445. ISSN 0003-5491

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Identification Number: 10.1353/anq.0.0058


To make an object transparent implies that its internal features become better visible. It also means that the surface of that same object becomes less discernable. I apply this analogy to argue that the current preoccupation with transparency allows certain ideological movements to hide controversial agendas from public scrutiny. Focusing on evangelical Christian aid to Kyrgyzstan, this article traces how post-Soviet liberalization enabled evangelicals to gain a strong footing in this Muslim-majority society. Their emphasis on religious rights served to legitimize their missionary agendas, while the adoption of development rhetoric allowed evangelicals to present themselves as "transparent" civil society players. As such, this empirical case illuminates the ideological workings of "empty" and ostensibly value-free political imageries.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 Institute for Ethnographic Research (IFER) a part of the George Washington University
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 12:40
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 00:54

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