Religion and development : towards an integrated approach 9789062566730, 9062566731

580 158 8MB

English Pages [301] Year 1988

Report DMCA / Copyright


Polecaj historie

Religion and development : towards an integrated approach
 9789062566730, 9062566731

Citation preview

Religion & Development towards an integrated approach

edited by

Philip Quarles van Ufford Matthew Schoffeleers

¿ ti w Free University Presi Amsterdam 1988

"BL (oO .K

’i S

Free University is an imprint of: VU Boekhandd/Uitgeverij bv De BoekUan 1105 1081HV Amsterdam The Netherlands C o m photographs by Matthew Schoffeleers Above: Members of a Malawian Independence Church on their way to a Sunday service. Below: Husband and wife saying good-bye as one is about to board an aeroplane (Malawian folk art from the Chikwawa District; painted tin figures). Typesetting: A. J. Scholten/Transcripta isbn 90-6256-673-1 d p nugi 6S3 © VI) Boefchandd/Uitgeverii bv, Amsterdam, 1988. Ad right reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanically, by photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permissMn of the publisher.

Contents Preface 1 Towards a rapprochement of anthropology and development studies Philip Quarles van Ufford A Matthew Schoffeleers 2

Religion and power: Modernization processes in Dutch Protestantism Hans Tennekes


Secular views and sacred vision: sociology of development and the significance of religion in Latin America Joop van Kessel A André Droogers


Cycles of concern Dutch Reformed mission in Central Java, 1896-1970 Philip Quarles van Ufford

5 ‘Only bullets make them listen’ Population mobility, housing and policy in Pakistan Frits Selier A Jan van der Linden 6

Religion, education and development: Colonial and post-colonial Malta Adrianus Koster


Islamic revival in Tunisia; a turning-point? Bernard Venema

8 Power, trade and Islam in the eastern Archipelagos, 1700-1850 Heather Sutherland 9

Change of religion as a way to survival Some source material from 19th-century Travancore, India Dick Kooiman

10 Theological styles and revolutionary élan: An African discussion Matthew Schoffeleers 11

Popular protest: the Diola of South Senegal Peter Geschiere A Jos van der Klei


Hearthless house and painted concrete: aspects of ethnicity among Sa’dan Toraja and Toba Batak (Indonesia) Reimar S chefold


Ritual laundering of black money among Surinam Creoles in The Netherlands WiDielmina van Wetering


14 Autonomy and women’s groups The new key to theory and policy on women and development? J .L van Wesemael-Smit


About the authors



Preface In 1983, governmental austerity measures were implemented in the Nether­ lands universities. The Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Sociology of Development at the Free University was faced with the task of integrating some sixty relatively independent research projects. A preliminary issue had to be settled first: should there be two general programmes, one for cultural anthropology and one for the sociology of development, or should a single, comprehensive programme be designed? The second approach would obvi­ ously be the more difficult, since it would not just mean interrelating a large number of projects, but it would also call for the integration of two disciplines which, almost from their inception, had grown apart steadily. On the other hand, failure to make the attempt would mean backing away from fascinating challenges such as devising a shared theoretical perspective. In the event, the decision was to institute a single programme, interlocking religion, politics and development. Looking back over the past five years we note that one by one difficulties were overcome, and we feel that definite progress was m ade. Exchange of insights and the growing willingness to communicate led the staff to move towards a theoretical perspective able to accommodate the various disciplinary interests in ways beneficial to each. Some of our work is presented in this book. We hope that it will interest kindred minds uncomfortable with the rift between anthropology and development sociology and willing to work towards their reintegration. We realize that we benefitted much from the friendship and wisdom of many colleagues, both in the Netherlands and elsewhere. The perspective we envi­ sioned was discussed a t a number of international conferences held at the Free University and organized or coorganized by our department. It is impossi­ ble to mention everyone, but we do wish to acknowledge the contributions made by dr. Mark Hobart and professor David Parkin during a conference on reflexive anthropology in 1985, by professor Terence Ranger, who gave a keynote address at the conference on South Africa in 1986, and to pro­ fessors Eric Wolf and Eric Gellner, who chaired the conference on religious regimes and state formation which was held in 1987. Openness and fruitful cooperation increasingly marked our relations with colleagues in the Nether­ lands . We have tried to do justice to the intellectual impulses given by so many of them. Last but not least thanks are due to Janneke Scholten and John N . Kraay, who are responsible for the type-setting and a considerable portion of the editing. Without their enthusiasm, support and advice ours would have been a far more difficult job. Amsterdam, 1988

the editors


Towards a Rapprochement of Anthropology and Development Studies Philip Quarles van Ufford & Matthew Schoffeleers'

Summary Anthropology and development studies have drifted apart, to the detriment of both. Is it possible to bring them more closely together and, if so, bow can this be achieved? In this introduction we argue that, yes, it is surely pos­ sible. One way of doing it is by treating development studies and activities as a quasi-religious phenomenon, and by accepting that in much of the Third World religion constitutes an essential medium through which development is mentally digested by those at the receiving end. What advantages are to be expected from an exercise that meets these two conditions? The viewpoint taken in this book is that in this way we should become more aware of the ideological dimension of development studies and activities, and this, in turn, will make our criticism more incisive. Another advantage is that we may learn more about the reactions of people to develop­ mental activities, since, as we are prepared to defend, in their religion people find a ready-to-hand and often surprisingly flexible form in which their feel­ ings about development can be expressed. Hence, also, religion provides the researcher with an important means to assess the impact of development work. Finally, one would hope that the proposed approach will make anthropologists and development sociologists more sensitive to their moral obligation vis-à-vis both the communities they study and the communities to which they them­ selves belong. This introductory chapter consists of three parts. In the first part we ex­ plore some problems besetting present-day anthropology. To do so we refer mostly to religious anthropology, the discipline on which we mean to rely to get at the religious depth-dimension of development studies and people's reactions to development activities. Having noted that religion and politics © Free University Press, 1988



are inseparable and must therefore always be studied together, we propose a theory about religion as a source of social criticism, derived from the works of Victor W. Turner. In the second part we examine the shifting notion of development studies and development activities. We summarize the major perspectives on other cultures such as they are found in the social sciences, and sketch the different phases that development studies have gone through in the course of their his­ tory. We conclude this section with a brief discussion of two important foci in present-day development studies, viz. development policies as a problem per se, and women’s studies as a specific field of development studies. In part three we introduce a number of case histories, taken from this book, to illustrate some of the ways in which developmental concerns acquire religious connotations. The introduction ends with a few concluding remarks.

The study of rdigkxi The problem posed A westerner’s perception of Asian, African or Latin-American cultures is in­ evitably coloured by western contexts and programmes. In part, this is due to the impossibility of separating one’s cultural self from the object of re­ search. For another part this colouration is given with the western origins of the social sciences. Even at the present stage, while the contribution of non-western social scientists is becoming increasingly important, the major theoretical frameworks of the social sciences continue to come from the West. The cultural basis of the craft remains that of the ‘founding fathers’: Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and Mauss. If we would have the right historical perspec­ tive on the sociological and anthropological study of developing countries we simply must acknowledge this basic fact. A second point to be made is that, from the end of World War II, we have witnessed a progressive parting of ways between general anthropology and development studies. Development studies have become problem-oriented, and on the whole seem to lack cultural awareness. Anthropology, on the other hand, has evolved into a culture-oriented type of discipline having little affi­ nity with problems of poverty and underdevelopment (Leach 1982, chapters 1 and 2). In addition, development problems still tend to be studied in the light of some overly optimistic idea about the degree to which the western world is able to create a better future for the Third World poor. This applies not only to a great many development sociologists, but also to those culture theorists who look upon the history of the West as essentially a history of progress, and for whom the perspective of continuous progress is the key to the understanding of social and cultural change in developing countries. Finally there are those who, unhampered by any concern about the need for economic development, commit themselves to the pursuit of ‘pure’ anthropology.



None of these approaches is realistic. Development schemes designed with­ out due reference to local cultures are bound to run into difficulty, and cultures—however interesting they may be from a folkloric viewpoint—are bound to change. Anthropology in particular stands to lose a good deal of its relevancy and credibility if it continues to avoid the study of developmental problems. For their part, if they fail to reflect critically on their aims and motivations, development studies run the risk of being co-opted by specific interest groups such as the large development bureaucracies, whose interests increasingly determine what is to be defined as desirable change. There is a danger that such partisan pursuit of knowledge will end up becoming en­ tirely dependent on the political moods and fashions of the day. Needed, therefore, is a framework in which the rightful concerns of cultural relevance and developmental exigencies are done more justice than seems to be the case at present. The aim of this introduction is to offer a few suggestions for a framework of this k in d . We take it that, depending on one's research objectives, there is more than one way to realize improved integration of the two disciplines. The idea to be examined here is that of bringing the two disciplines together under the denominator of religion. We intend to do this by treating anthropology for the purpose of this study as a discipline centrally concerned with the study of religion, and by treating development studies and development activities as a particular form of religion to be studied in terms of that discipline. The integrated discourse we have in mind has to be a reflexive discourse, geared to detecting and examining the hidden assumptions that inevitably form part of our theoretical baggage. As Crick put it, ‘the presence of “us” in anthropological knowledge has always been implicit throughout the history of the discipline, but this presence should be made explicit’ (Crick 1982, p. 15). This requires among other things a careful re-examination of the history of the respective disciplines, because it is there that those assumptions may be traced to their secret lairs. More keenly aware of the Baconian caves in which our predecessor’s ethical and political agendas were forged, we will know better where we stand (Taylor 1983). Having thus decided to focus on religion, our first foray into the field should be a brief review of the history of religious anthropology in the twentieth century. Religious anthropology and the evolution o f religion: an epistemological conundrum From the time fieldwork became a standard requirement religious anthropol­ ogy has traversed three distinct phases, which coincide more or less with three successive stages in the history of most Third World nations, viz. the colo­ nial era, the struggle for political independence, and the post-independence



era. During the heyday of colonialism anthropological attention, insofar as it addressed itself to religion, was focussed mostly on beliefs and cults that were considered ‘genuinely autochthonous', such as ancestor cults, royal cults and witchcraft beliefs (cf. Smet 1975). These were routinely described in functionalist terms as directly or indirectly contributing to the maintenance of law and order and the physical survival of the ‘tribe’ or the ‘indigenous state’, while modem phenomena such as the colonial state and the Christian missions remained largely out of sight. This entire tradition is excellently summarized in chapter VI of Max Gluckman’s well-known Politics, law and ritual in tribal society (Gluckman 1965). After World War II, when mass nationalism emerged in Africa and else­ where, anthropologists began to take an interest in prophetic movements, both old and new, which they described primarily in terms of anti-colonial or protonationalist movements. One of the best-known representatives of this tradi­ tion is Georges Balandier, whose Sociologie actuelle de l’Afrique noire (1955) became a highly influential textbook. Another landmark of this period is Bengt Sundkler’s Bantu prophets (1948), the first major study to deal with the Independent Churches in South Africa. Underlying most of these studies is the assumption that prophetic movements are products of the interaction be­ tween metropolitan and local cultures, and that they are typical of the colonial situation, the inference being that such movements could not possibly have existed in precontact times. During the post-independence period, roughly from the late 1950s onwards, the focus shifts once more, this time to the study of religious symbols, inde­ pendently of the political processes in which they are embedded. The most influential person at this point is Lévi-Strauss, whose Anthropologie structurale (1958) heralded the beginning of an entirely new tradition in religious anthro­ pology. As far as Africa is concerned, this shift is represented particularly by Luc de Heusch, Le Roi ivre ou l’origine de l’état (1972). Summarizing the foregoing we can say that anthropological studies of the colonial period tended to stress the conservative and ideological functions of religion; that during the independence struggle anthropologists became alerted to the revolutionary potential of religion, and that in the first ten to twenty years of the post-independence period they tended to focus on religious sym­ bolism divorced from its political context. This shift from a conservative to a revolutionary and finally to a largely apolitical focus is reflected in the research topics, which shift from traditional rituals to prophetic cults and finally to mythological complexes (Schoffeleers 1985c). All of this suggests that the selection of topics and theoretical frameworks in religious anthropology tended to correlate with the type of pressure exerted on the anthropologists by the political climate of the day. Thus, functionalism with its emphasis on the cohesive and stabilizing functions of religion may be



regarded, at least in part, as conditioned by colonial power relations (cf. Asad 1973). In its turn, the post-World War II focus on prophetic movements and the revolutionary potential of religion may be seen as conditioned by and as a legitimation of the nascent mass nationalism in the Third W orld. Finally, the apolitical stance characteristic of the post-independence period may be interpreted as part of the post-modernistic unmasking of political ideologies. Of course, this third attitude may be attributable also to the mundane problem of getting research clearance. For in those troubled times this was often only granted on condition that the person intending to do research refrain from occupying himself with politically sensitive issues. An obvious way to avoid trouble was to select a historical topic or to study symbolic systems without reference to their political context. The historical sequence just described need not cause particular surprise, since anyone familiar with the history of anthropology will recognize it. What should arrest us, though, is the striking correspondence between this sequence and the one offered in the usual schemes of religious evolution, of which Robert N . Bellah’s is one of the better known (Bellah 1969). It will be remembered that all of these schemes make religion move from a monistic phase, in which religion and politics are mutually supportive in the functionalist sense; through a dualistic phase, in which religion and politics become potentially antagonis­ tic to each other and in which religion may function as a revolutionary force; to a pluralistic phase, in which religion becomes increasingly individualistic and its political functioning is no longer self-evident. We do not mean to say that there was no political sensitivity to be found anywhere in anthropology in this third period. What we mean to say is that it had greatly diminished, especially so in studies relating to the Third World, which is what we are dealing with here. Having made that qualification, how does one explain this astonishing paral­ lelism? Has religious anthropology spontaneously replicated the developmen­ tal phases of its subject matter, or has it turned its own history into the history of its subject matter? There is reason to believe that both views are in a sense correct. A n early fascination with ‘the elementary forms of the religious life’ (to borrow Durkheim’s phrase) was one of the reasons why anthropological studies moved from the past to the present rather than the other way round, thus in a sense replicating the history (or supposed history) of their subject. However, the assumptions and paradigms of each subsequent generation of anthropologists permeated the description of each historical phase to such a degree that at the same time the history of the subject came to replicate the history of the discipline. This kind of effect is unavoidable because each phase in the development of a discipline is characterized by a preference for specific phenomena and specific paradigms at the expense of others. In spite of the fact that the



phenomena studied are largely autonomous with respect to the paradigm used—one and the same phenomenon may be examined in terms of different theoretical paradigms—there is nonetheless always some selective affinity at work because, when it comes to throwing light on a particular phenomenon, certain paradigms are considered more suitable than others (Droogers 1985, pp. 102-111). In other words, there is a demonstrable correlation between the phenomena studied and the paradigms applied to them. We saw this principle illustrated in the various phases of religious anthropology: ances­ tor veneration accorded with functionalism, prophecy with theories of social change, and mythology with structuralism. Next, one notes that successive paradigms tend to be assessed as increas­ ingly sophisticated, and hence science, including social science, is looked upon as being in a state of more or less continuous development. The same conno­ tations, however, are soon attached to the phenomena that are being studied; consequently, phenomena popular in an earlier phase of a discipline’s history tend to be regarded as less complex (or more ‘primitive’) than phenomena fashionable in a later phase. Seen thus, the history of a discipline is bound to become the history of its subject matter. Perusal of the history of religious anthropology further reveals that a so­ cial phenomenon tends to retain the aura of meaning bestowed upon it at the apex of its popularity in the social sciences, whereas that aura may have been unrealistic in the first place or is superseded today. African Independent Churches, for instance, which have been described in the 1950s and 1960s by Balandier and a whole crowd of followers as movements of protest against white domination, continue to be viewed in that light despite the fact that the majority of these churches in South Africa later became veritable pillars of the status quo. Returning once more to the evolutionary scheme just summarized, we see that one of its underlying assumptions is that the more a society modernizes the less religious it will become. This assumption is an implicit feature of the world of development studies as well. Indeed, it seems so self-evident to development specialists that few of them are willing to challenge it. Yet Mary Douglas, in a scathing comment on the state of present-day religious studies, maintains that this belief, though widely held, exists only by the grace of overrating the role of religion in pre-modern times and underrating it in modern societies (Douglas 1982). Nothing, she argues, should lead us to think that the pre-modern world is or was more religious than the modem world. But the consequence of this erroneous notion of decreasing religiousness has been that scholars paid far too much attention to processes of secularization, whereas equally important processes of religious reorientation remained out of view. One of Douglas’s most pertinent observations is that the study of religion tends to reflect the prejudices of the student even more than the study of other social phenomena



does, and that therefore the study of religion is the natural locus for the social sciences to carry out their programme of self-examination. Douglas’s criticism is shared by Raymond Firth, who in an influential lec­ ture fulminated against the tendency on the part of a great many anthro­ pologists to limit the role of religion to that of provider of meaning (Firth 1981). Similar criticisms have been voiced by Ortner (1984), Van Binsbergen & Schofleleers (1985, Introduction), and Marcus & Fischer (1986). The latter actually broaden the discussion by directing their critique at anthropology as a whole rather than applying it to religious anthropology alone. Referring to the North-American ethnographic production of our days, they distinguish between ‘ethnographies of experience’ and ‘political economy ethnographies’ (Marcus & Fischer 1986, p. 44). In their view, ‘ethnographies of experience’ came in fashion under the influence of the interpretative anthropology of Clifford Geertz, Jane Schneider and others, whose work focussed on the study of symbols and systems of meaning rather than on soda! structures and social behaviour, as used to be the case before. Marcus and Fischer consider it the merit of the anthropologists of the second category, the authors of ‘political economy ethnographies’, that they searched for more effective ways to describe how ethnographic subjects are implicated in broader political and economic processes. At the same time they criticize those authors for not paying enough attention to the world-view and the ethos of the societies under consideration. Their conclusion is that the time has come to combine the two approaches to counteract the current dilemma *. . . between a literature weak on culture, but strong on politicaleconomy analysis, and one strong on cultural analysis, but weak on political economy . . .’ (1986, p . 44). What Marcus and Fischer are saying is that the separation of culture from politics is not just a problem for religious anthro­ pology but a problem for anthropology as a whole. We concur. We would merely add that the problem is perhaps most evident in religious anthropol­ ogy. At any rate, the solution they propose clearly requires development of the kind of integrative theory framework for which we are pleading. Some progress towards a solution may be found in the application of Bourdieu’s praxis theory, which in part concentrates on the question how dominant classes make use of symbolic power—defined as a form of power derived from a society’s world-view and ethos—to dissemble reality in the perception of the oppressed classes and thus to buttress their privileged position (Bourdieu 1979, p. 83). This does indeed provide us with a possibility to integrate the two approaches we have been discussing, but to a degree only, for the opposite question is equally important: how does symbolic capital, even when generated without the aid of material capital, lead on to the acquisition of material capital, and thus to the emergence of new relations between classes and eth­ nic groups? (Van Binsbergen & Schofleleers 1985, p. 13). The authors just



quoted seek to formulate some of the conditions for any theoretical approach which would aim at integrating analyses in terms of power (both symbolic and flofi-symbolic) and analyses in terms of meaning. One such condition is that the relation between symbolic and non-symbolic power should on no account be reduced, as the cruder versions of Marxism would do, to one between an allegedly epiphenomenal ‘superstructure’ and a material ‘infrastructure’, con­ sidered to be so fundamental that it automatically determines symbolizing processes (cf. Godelier 1975, 1978). Another attempt to integrate the two approaches has been pioneered by Bax by means of the concept of ‘religious regime’ (Bax 1987). A religious regime in Bax’s terms is a constellation, more or less formalized and insti­ tutionalized, of human interdependencies, legitimized in religious ideas and propagated by religious specialists. Thus defined, the concept opens up a number of perspectives for research and theorizing. To begin with, religious regimes are power constellations, implying among other things formulation of ideologies, and elaboration of tactics and strategies on ‘how to fight and how to win’. The concept ‘religious regime’ induces us to investigate religion in terms of cultural content, structural form, and the interplay between these two aspects. The term ‘regime’ implies dynamics and, since it is an ‘open’ concept, it can be employed for all kinds of religious phenomena for all sorts of religion (including preliterate religion) at various levels of societal integra­ tion . Religious regimes and their secular counterparts constitute antagonis­ tically interdependent configurations, which may be explained by the fact that the two have some important traits in common. Thus both fulfil important functions in the spheres of social organization and cultural orientation. Both contain structures for internal control and external defence. Both types of regime are thus confronted with problems of internal cohesion and external confrontation, and both try to solve these problems by attracting resources which they then attempt to monopolize. However, next to many similarities there are also some rather striking differ­ ences between religious regimes and states. One of these concerns the source from which a regime derives its power. Viewed from a long-term perspective, states gain effective control over the means of violence and taxation, whereas most religious regimes ultimately lose control over these vital resources as durable and cumulative monopolization seems to be beyond their reach. This may induce the religious regime to adopt a strategy of contesting the power of the state by offering support to marginal social categories and by mon­ opolizing the social means to that particular end. Specialists within religious regimes, however, do not merely adopt passive, adaptive strategies; they can openly confront their opponents as well. When doing so, religious leaders may accuse their opponents of violating fundamental values (fundamental also in the opponent’s estimation), while making clear at the same time that they themselves are the principal guardians of those values. In Bax’s view it can



be argued that these forms of behaviour constitute elements of a confronta­ tion complex which is a function of the power relations between religious and worldly regimes. They indicate the lack of command over the organized means of physical violence, and they also function as an example to secular regimes (Bax 1987). If it is true that religious regimes generally are less able and less disposed to monopolize taxation and the 'power of the sword’, the question arises why this should be so. Our own answer is that, structurally speaking, religions possess a more pronounced potential for self-criticism and self-correction than secular regimes do, although we are well aware that this potential is by no means always realized. Religion has that ability due to the fact that it recog­ nizes another reality, an absolute and normative one, which can be invoked to register and legitimize one’s protest against social and political abuse. In this context one must mention the late Victor Turner, who, more than anyone else, revealed to us the nature and multitudinous forms of the criti­ cal potential of religion (Turner 1969). Turner’s theory implies that the most elementary form of religious life is based on an internal dialectic, which in principle allows it to challenge itself and thus cause change from within, without external interference (Schoffeleers 1978, pp. 4 3 -5 0 ). In his book The ritual process Turner develops the idea that the social is not to be regarded as identical only with the social-structural. Beyond the structural lies not just the Hobbesian Svar of all against all’, but something else, to which he gives the name ‘communi tas’. Structure and communitas are two contrasting social models. The relation between them is one of opposites: ‘comm uni tas emerges where social structure is not’, and communi tas can be viewed as ‘anti-structure’ (Turner, op. c/7., p . 113). They are two major models for human interrelated­ ness, juxtaposed and alternating (p. 82). There can be no structure without communi tas, for communi tas is ‘a matter of giving recognition to an essential and generic human bond without which there could be no society* (p. 83). Elsewhere he states that ‘structural action swiftly becomes arid and mechanical if those involved in it are not periodically immersed in the regenerative abyss of communi tas’ (p. 127). On the other hand, there can be no comm uni tas without structure, for communi tas is made evident or accessible only through its juxtaposition to, or hybridization with, aspects of social structure (p . 114). From these various observations he draws the conclusion that ‘social life is a type of dialectical process that involves successive experience of high and low, communi tas and structure, homogeneity and differentiation, equality and inequality. In Turner’s view, No society can function adequately without this dialectic, for exaggeration of struc­ ture may well lead to pathological manifestations of communitas outside or against 'the law . Exaggeration of communitas, in certain religious or political movements of the levelling type, may be speedily followed by despotism, overbureaucratization, or other modes of structural rigidincation. . . Communitas cannot stand alone if



the material and organisational needs of human beings are to be adequately met. Maximisation of comm uni tas provokes maximisation of structure, which in its turn produces revolutionary strivings for renewed communi tas. (p. 116) Turner makes two further points which are of direct relevance to the argument of this introduction. The first is the observation that communitas (or rather its various manifestations) is almost everywhere held to be sacred or holy; the second is the observation that, from the viewpoint of those concerned with the maintenance of structure, all sustained manifestation of communitas must appear as dangerous and anarchical (p. 95). The reason for both these reactions may be that communitas transgresses and dissolves the norms that govern structured and institutionalized relationships and is accompanied by manifestations of unprecedented potency (p. 115). Turner's theory has its uses also for the reconstruction of religious history in preliterate societies. When using the term ‘history* here, we are not only thinking of the objective past, but also of the past as perceived by different social groups and as preserved in oral traditions. The important thing to note about oral tradition is that it is one of the instruments used by opposing parties to legitimize their claims to specific rights and privileges. It is thus one of the mediating agencies between symbolic and material power, and a scarce resource to be treated with care (Appadurai 1981). It has been noted also that the oral traditions of religious institutions often contain the views and recollections of the lower echelons of society. This means that in a number of cases we possess a ‘secular* and a ‘religious’ account of the past, the for­ mer containing the view of the aristocracy, the latter that of the commonalty (Schoffeleers 1985b). It does seem clear from the foregoing that religion has a built-in political dimension, and that, if one fails to take that dimension into account in a sys­ tematic way, one’s view of religion is bound to remain lopsided. The rationale behind this position is that political power is a matter of central concern to all religious systems, for all are to a greater or lesser extent involved in internal and external power struggles, and all express an urge to formulate ideas about the nature and limits of political power, the use of violence, and the rights of the ruled. Whether they do so explicitly or implicitly, formally or informally, is another m atter. The point is that such ideas are continuously formulated and reformulated by both the dominant and the dominated groups, and that an understanding of them is essential for our understanding of the religious phenomenon under consideration. Put in the simplest possible terms, religion can function as an ideology in support of the status quo; it can function as a critic of the status quo, and it can be both at the same time, depending on the aspect in focus. This does not mean, of course, that religion can be reduced to politics. What it means is that religion inescapably has a political dimension.



The history of development studies Contrasting perspectives on non-western societies As stated at the beginning, the founders of sociology were not only interested in exotic societies for their own sake. When they studied these, they did so in order to arhve at a clearer understanding of their own social milieu. This led Mauss, for one, to conclude his classic study on the gift with a warn­ ing against the ‘frigid calculations' of western economic individualism, which he compared unfavourably with situations (‘total institutions’) in which the economic merges with the ethical and the religious. In his own words, ‘it is only our western societies that quite recently turned man into an economic animal’ (Mauss 1966, p. 74). It is significant, though, that the final chapter of his book, where these remarks are made, is hardly ever dted as most anthropologists do not consider it relevant for their purposes. The result, then, is that Mauss’s analysis of gift-giving is disengaged from the context within which it was conceived and from which it derived part of its meaning. Both Mauss and Durkheim carried with them an awareness of some pro­ found moral crisis. To Durkheim, the France of the closing quarter of the nineteenth century was a country lacking both a sense of nationhood and a shared morality. He saw it as his life-long vocation to fill that gap, and it was quite specifically to that end that he immersed himself in the study of Australian aboriginal religion. In the case of Marx and Weber—however great the ideological distance between them—one recognizes much more of the nineteenth-century belief in human progress. While the two Frenchmen represented a fin de siècle consciousness about the decline of the West, the two Germans represented the rather more optimistic view that the West was by far the most developed part of the world, and that western man was not only capable of taking his destiny in his own hands, but also competent to teach others to do the same. These different views about the state of the western world combined with contrasting views of non-western societies. In the case of Durkheim and Mauss it was the complete otherness of alien cultures that was emphasized, an idea that was to become characteristic of French anthropology as a whole (Fabian 1983). Despite this idea of complete otherness, or rather because of it, they believed that the West could learn some useful lessons from those cultures. It was important to them to convince the educated westerner that viable alternatives were at hand, and that the course of history was not per se unalterable. Unfortunately, Durkheim’s and Mauss’s ultimate goal—the revitalization of western culture—has gradually been lost to sight. The idea of the ‘totally other’ has gone on to lead a life of its own, and the com­ parative perspective has largely disappeared. Structuralist anthropology— another major contribution of the French to anthropology—appears to be the culmination-point of this progressive disengagement. In Lévi-Strauss’s



thinking alien cultures derive their value from their otherness alone, each cul­ ture being a distinct species, and not from their applicability to the moral condition of the western world. Since structuralism shows itself insensitive also to the role of external influences, it operates as it were in a double vacuum, the one moral, the other historical. Over against this emphasis on the ‘totally other* in anthropology, there is the idea of ‘not yet the same’, which has become typical of development thinking. On the basis of an essentially optimistic view of western history that same history is held to be paradigmatic for the future of the Third World. Max Weber expresses this idea of western uniqueness in the preface to his studies in religious sociology, when he poses the question which concatenation of cir­ cumstances led to the exclusive emergence in the West of cultural phenomena that to him seemed to be ‘of universal significance and validity* (Weber 1972, pp. 1-16). It was this very belief in the unique significance of western his­ tory which, as we know, provided the perspective from which Weber’s study of religions derived its meaning and significance. This remarkable optimism, which in its own way has influenced Marx’s work as well, makes these two men crucial figures in the history of development sociology. The progressivist notion of ‘not yet the same’ necessitated the construction of a theory about the phases which non-western societies must go through. Whether those phases are to be described as ‘stages of growth’, as was the fashion in the 1960s, or ‘modes of production’, or ‘phases of underdevelop­ ment', as in the 1970s, is less important. In all cases the analytic baseline consists of a particular assessment of western culture as the standard by which other cultures are measured. This considerably influenced the direction development studies were to take in the 1950s and 1960s. Such assessment has put its stamp on both their theoretical preoccupations and their emphasis on intervention either by co-operating with official development agencies or by supporting counterstrategies. The concept o f development The concept of development received its rallying force and political appeal in the context of the decolonization process. Its primary function in those days was to summarize and symbolize the quest for more equitable relations between the western powers and their former colonies. First coined in 1944, in one of the subcommittees which were then busy drafting the constitution of the United Nations, the concept became part of the academic vocabulary in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the decolonization movement reached its climax (Van Soest 1978; Kruijt & Vellinga 1984). Political decolonization and development are thus intimately related concepts: the former referring to a past which was being rejected, the latter conveying the hopes and promises of a better future (Locher 1978; Van Baal 1982). It provided a new, internation­ ally acceptable notion of order at a time when sudden disruptions could easily



cause chaos. Its appeal was further reinforced by the following three semantic characteristics. First, development was an ‘open’ concept which did not refer to specific political programmes and which did not predict specific processes of change. This meant that it was able to provide a common platform enabling all parties concerned to work out practical programmes. Second, it contained, if not the assurance, at least the promise of a better future in which the poten­ tialities of the newly independent nations would be actualized. It was thus also an ‘optimistic’ concept. Third, it was a ‘legitimizing’ concept, because it approved the role of the developed world in assessing the potentialities of the developing world and in formulating plans and policies to actualize those potentialities. The concept of development thus provided western nations with a rationale for engaging anew in the closest possible relationships with Third World coun­ terparts at a time when the old colonial ties had been disrupted (Quarles van Ufford 1984). Phases in the application o f the concept The most notable and also the most Visible’ characteristic of development sociology has always been the centrality it grants to the role of intervention and influence from modern society. However much people’s ideas about the nature of development have changed, the centrality of external intervention has for most of the time remained the common denominator. The discipline's identity, power and charisma derived from ‘intervention’. Although the roots of development sociology can in a sense be traced back to the colonial era (Grillo & Rew 1985; Hiisken et al. 1984), it is nevertheless correct to situate its formal beginnings in the 1950s, when it entered a period of explosive growth. It is, then, a younger discipline than religious anthropol­ ogy. Nevertheless, the three phases that we have distinguished in the history of twentieth-century religious anthropology can be distinguished also in the history of development sociology. In the first phase we see, much as in the case of religious anthropology, a predominance of structural functionalism. Processes of political modern­ ization and national integration are emphasized. These are the goals that should be achieved before all else (Schoorl 1974). The notion of the state as an ‘integrating machine’ (Parkin 1982; Hobart 1986), so characteristic of this phase, was eminently suited to a context in which transformation in a great many areas was considered necessary and unavoidable. Structural functional­ ism further provided the leadership of the young states with a useful ideology, which allowed them to tackle issues of development with a clean conscience as it were, since it implied that the good of the state was the good of the nation and of the local communities of which the nation was composed. Their attention riveted to the exigencies of change, development theorists neglected history. They simply continued to speak in terms of ‘the’ village



(cf. Kemp 1987; Breman 1987), ‘the’ tribe (cf. Brass 1985), ‘the* tradition or ‘the* culture (cf. Worsley 1984) as if these were things that had remained eter­ nally unchanged. Only later, when researchers became conscious of something called ‘the historical dimension’, did it become clear that what had always been described as ‘age-old’ was no more than a particular phase in the history of that society (cf. Husken 1988). Wolf (1982) especially drew attention to the price which had to be paid for this ahistorical fixation: processes became ‘things’ and ostensible equilibrium took the place of changing constellations. The character of development sociology in this initial phase was very much conditioned by the process of political decolonization. Development sociology took its bearings from the colonial period, which it sought to break with, but of which in a sense it was the continuation and the mirror image. Much of the criticism which was to be spent so liberally in later days on this phase was nevertheless unjust in that it treated the production of sociological theory as an autonomous process, without taking into account the practical problems and priorities which conditioned the choice for the structural-functional paradigm. It is quite understandable that the first generation of development sociologists, who in many cases had personally and intimately experienced the process of decolonization, found it difficult to embrace a theoretical paradigm which might question or even challenge the role of the new elites in the process of state formation. Decolonization was a serious affair. But political decoloniza­ tion could not be taken seriously unless one recognized the new state as a central point of reference (Quarles van Ufford 1984). The second phase is characterized by extreme compartmentalization in development sociology (Hewitt de Alcantara 1982). The various schools be­ came politicized and polarized to the extent that in the late 1970s at least one authority found it necessary to state publicly that debates between develop­ ment sociologists served no useful purpose any longer (Foster-Carter 1976). In his exemplary study Asian drama (1968), Gunnar Myrdal explains the main reason for the recurrent and frequently caustic conflicts: a new central issue, poverty, came forward, and sociologists were now facing a difficult choice: should priority be given to assisting the fledgling state structures, or should the eradication of poverty and exploitation take pride of place? In his delicate weighing of these two options Myrdal is careful to distance himself both from what he describes as romantic thinking about participation and the danger of creating absolute chaos by dissecting the problem of poverty and exploitation, cut loose from the context of state formation, which he continued to consider as the primary problem. Others, however, were less careful in their weighing of arguments, and it is thus that a process of intensive politicization was set in m otion. Husken points to a second cause for this process o f increasing fragmenta­ tion . His analyses of the doctoral theses in development sociology written at the Dutch universities in the 1970s shows that each of the different ‘schools’



was busy monopolizing its own geographical region (Hüsken et al. 1984, p p . 12-18). While claiming universal validity for its own points of view, each ‘school’ drew its evidence from only one geographical region: those impressed by processes of state formation supported their claims with evidence from Asia; those expecting panacea from modes of production drew their material from sub-Saharan Africa, and those swearing by political economy and depen­ dencia pointed to Latin America for the confirmation of their theories. Small wonder nobody listened to anybody else. The third phase may be characterized as one of routinization: development work has by now reached maturity, and thousands of organizations are ac­ tive. Currently we see a second split emerging between practical studies and theoretically-oriented research (Chambers 1983). This is due to the widening gap between the kind of research demanded by development agencies and consultancy firms and the kind of research demanded by the universities. This divorce of ‘academic’ from ‘applied’ research has led to a proliferation of non-academic institutions, which undertake research on behalf of development bureaucracies. Theories with political impact, important when it was still necessary to le­ gitimize the academic study of development problems, suddenly lost most of their appeal and vitality. Whereas a few years ago people were still passion­ ately defending them, their practical use in terms of concrete achievements now appear to be rather meagre (Kruijt & Vellinga 1983; Hüsken et al. 1984; Grillo & Rew 1985). There is little demand for theories which put such heavy emphasis on the engineering of change. Furthermore, a theory able to mobilize the development effort now seems superfluous. There is, however, a danger that this process of isolating the discipline from the practicalities of develop­ ment policies may lead to a renaissance of politicizing theories in development sociology. It is not easy to define the characteristics of the present phase, but two ten­ dencies may be mentioned as being of particular importance: (a) the idea that planning and policy, the instruments of development, are themselves fraught with problems, and (b) the recognition of women’s studies as part of develop­ ment studies. Planning and policy as problems per se Initially, policy was thought of as a ‘tool’, an ‘instrument’, designed to ef­ fectuate change. In the same mechanical manner in which concepts such as ‘village’, ‘tribe’ or ‘culture’ were treated as reified objects instead of complex processes, ‘policy’ was conceptualized as something static (Long 1984; Quarles van Ufford 1988). Much the same is true of the concept ‘state* with which ‘policy’ is so intimately connected (Hobart 1987). Defining the concept of ‘development’ mechanistically meant that hardly any attention was paid to the largely hidden processes by which goals were adapted, altered or made



to disappear in the course of their implementation. Put differently, the pos­ sibility that the ‘message* as such could be transformed or neutralized was hardly taken into consideration. For any given development project there were only two questions that really needed answering: who at the top end of the chain wanted what and why, and to what extent had the intended results been achieved at the bottom end? The part between the beginning and the end of the chain, that is to say the part where a great many subtle transformations took place, remained largely out of sight. Together with the identity of the development agency responsible for this or that important project, the term ‘policy*, too, acquired a quasi-sacred and quasi-unchangeable meaning (cf. Parkin 1975). Moreover, as Hayter’s illuminating case histories make clear, once cannot expect development bureaucrats to question their own policies publicly (Hayter 1985). Bourdieu’s work (1977, 1979), to which we referred earlier, opened up an important new line of research, according to which ‘policy* is to be viewed as a process of continuously defining and redefining goals and of continuously directing and redirecting the means and resources with which to implement those goals. This entire process occurs at different levels and in constantly changing configurations (Hyden 1983; Venema 1987). In such an approach policy is an immutable tool no longer. It is caught up in the dynamics of a society (Long 1984; Fardon 1985; Nientied & Van der Linden 1985; Van der Linden 1986). Fred Riggs’s seminal work on bureaucracy (1964), in which he suggested very much the same thing, at long last got its follow-up. The reason why his questioning of development bureaucracies and development policies as well as his studies on inefficiency and ineffectivity took so long to become acceptable was probably a matter of political (in)convenience. Governments and NGOs mobilized to take a larger share in development activities were left with little time to indulge in self-evaluation. The questioning of development processes is necessary to get an idea of the difference between what is so loftily intended and what comes of it in the field (Rew 1985). Development organizations are often less than enthusiastic about this type of research. They perceive it as a threat to the monopoly position to which they aspire. TTiis is true not only of the large national and international organizations, but also of the smaller, often explicitly ideo­ logical, non-governmental organizations. Being enterprises which, understan­ dably, try to legitimize their continued existence as well as they may, they make use of their ‘symbolic capital’ in trying to convince the rest of the world of what they believe to be the ‘real’ development problems, especially in those areas in which they are particularly interested. it is likely that development problems are going to be defined more and more on instrumental grounds (Quarles van Ufford 1988). It does not seem an exaggeration to say that processes of bureaucratization in the present routinization phase will turn into a vexing problem. The scope for effectively proposing alternative definitions



of desirable development diminishes fast. This will affect first of all the poor themselves, whose problems will more than ever be defined for them instead of by them. Women's studies: changing an agenda in development sociology Our discussion of the history of development studies now turns to the last chapter (Ch. 14) in this book, which deals with the changing perceptions, the inner tensions and the conflicting moral and political choices that have played a role in women’s studies over the past fifteen years. Lillian van WesemaelSmit presents a lucid picture of the various ways in which theoretical reorien­ tations in the field of women’s studies were embedded in the broader context of the feminist movement. It shows how the changing agendas of women’s studies reflect the stages of mobilization and routinization which we found to be characteristic of the history of development sociology as a whole. The author characterizes the first phase in the history of women’s studies (the 1960s) as a period in which the focus was on unequal opportunities for women. Accordingly, the goal was to revise biased ideas and to foster the integration of women in development work and development strategies. In the second phase (the 1970s) the definition of the problem of women and development becomes far more ideological. The stake is the identity of the women’s movement; the autonomy of women is the major goal. In the course of the 1980s we witness the beginnings of a routinization process. The author contrasts the concept of ‘women’s autonomy* with the new nuclear idea of ‘improvement of women’s conditions’. The new concept obviously in­ itiates a process of de-ideologization. Women’s interests prove to be far more pluriform than the autonomy approach envisioned and it seems impossible to make universally valid statements about the nature of women’s interests. The dilemma arising at this point is one between the author’s own identity as someone rooted in the western feminist movement and the relevance of her research conclusions. Much of the value of this chapter derives from the fact that the author does not avoid this dilemma of identity and relevancy. It is the very problem that casts its uneasy shadow over development sociology as a whole. As such we might call it ‘Durkheim’s Dilemma’, recognizing that, while his solution can no longer be ours, involvement with the issue seems to us vital to the continued health of the discipline. We place emphasis on the need for involvement and for the reflexive attitude we spoke of earlier, because at present it seems as if nominalism and even a degree of cynicism are distorting development sociology with excessive relativism and contextualization. To close this section we would draw attention to a particular feature which we have noted but not yet discussed. This is the rather striking similarity be­ tween the history of religious anthropology, development studies and women’s studies respectively. One way of explaining this is to say that they have been



subject to similar external stimuli, be it at different times and under different circumstances. That explanation has a certain plausibility, but in itself it does not seem enough. We may get a somewhat different view if we consider these histories as representing the life-cycles of three different but interrelated regimes. The first period is that in which the new regime has to prove its usefulness to its potential customers. In the second phase internal discontent sets in . Moreover, the younger participants want their share of the cake; con­ sequently, they are led to develop concepts and theories which challenge those of their seniors. In the third phase the political factor becomes less important. Different ‘schools’ function more or less independently of each other. Also, a call for rapprochement is heard—as in the present essay. Development in a religious perspective The various contributions to this volume—with the exception of the chapter on women's studies just referred to—examine concrete cases. Each illustrates some aspect of the relationship between religion and development. It is this which lends coherence to what otherwise would have been a collection of un­ related essays. If that claim of coherence has to be substantiated—which we feel is essential—two additional steps are called for. First, we should say what we mean by ‘religion’ in the context of this volume. Second, we ought to point up in what sense the individual chapters illustrate one or other aspect of the complex relationship between religion and development. It is this double task which will occupy us in the remainder of this introduction. We will briefly outline the notion of ‘development as a religious discourse’ and end with a discussion of the religious dimensions of reactions to development activities. Development as a religious discourse Mary Douglas, in the important essay cited earlier (Douglas 1982), recom­ mends that the central characteristic of all religion be defined as the relation­ ship between man and the transcendent. Although others have made similar suggestions, hers is special in that she takes the term ‘transcendent’ not only to refer to spiritual or moral reality, but also to a realm as daunting as modem bureaucracy. Unusual as her suggestion may be, it is a valuable one, provid­ ing us with a possibility of discerning a religious dimension in phenomena which hitherto have remained outside the purview of religion. Let us explain ourselves. The concept of ‘transcendence’ implies the existence of two separate worlds, the one we actually live in and another beyond th a t. This second reality is considered superior to the first, although the believers know it in part only. Since the second reality is the salvific and normative one, our relationship with it is thought to give us a clearer perception of the world in which we actually live. As we gain a more comprehensive and more immediate understanding



of our everyday world, we are capable also of discerning with greater clarity the possibilities and obstacles we face when seeking salvation. In this light development is a religious concept, since it, too, implies a belief in the existence of two worlds, referred to as ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ respectively, of which the former is superior to and normative for the latter. By means of acquainting themselves with the experiences and analyses of the developed world—as enshrined in the tatter’s development models—the inhabitants of developing countries are supposed to obtain a clearer idea of the problems facing them and the possibilities of overcoming those problems. These models are salvific in that they contain not only a promise but also a prescription to make that promise come true. The development experts are the ‘priests’ (Berger 1974), who mediate between the two worlds. It is their task to keep alive the idea that to engage in development is a sacred duty: hence the continuous emphasis on mobilization of the public opinion. Their authority cannot be doubted, because they are themselves the products of the reality which has become normative for the underdeveloped world. At the same time this definition of development reflects Turner’s model of structure, the inevitable hierarchy which evolves as cultures are integrated in the development effort. All this supports the idea that ‘development’ may be viewed as a religious concept in Douglas’s terms, even if the relationship with the transcendent is formulated in essentially secular terms. It is absolutely vital to realize that our western development models are tinged with this religious surplus value. The idea that they fulfil a quasi­ religious and exemplary function in relation to underdeveloped countries is no longer in doubt (Dahrendorf 1968). It could hardly have been otherwise, as it is precisely because of this process of modernization and secularization that the West has come to think of itself as ‘developed’ and therefore as normative for the rest of the world. The fact that in actual practice we are not dealing with one development model but with a number of competing models in no way diminishes the truth of this observation. This being the case, and further taking into account that both church and state take an interest in development work, one is led to ask how they relate to each other in that particular respect. An answer suggested by this book is that both parties tend to co-opt development work, the one by confessionalizing, the other by deconfessionalizing it. An illustration of the confessionalization process is to be found in Chapter 2, in which Hans Tennekes examines the updating of the religious discourse among Dutch Protestants over the past two decades. That process involved among other things the construction of a new and more openly secular conceptual apparatus, by means of which the churches sought to improve their communication with a world in which traditional religious concepts had largely become discredited. In this updated discourse, the Christian God became a God who legitimates the struggle for social justice rather than a God who dispenses salvation to sinful humans.



Conversely, man’s relationship with the transcendent was no longer defined primarily in terms of his accountability to a personal God, but in terms of his commitment to the creation of a better future. Finally, the transcendent itself was no longer exclusively identified with ‘God’, but also with the next phase of world history, the hoped-for ‘time to come’. Although Tennekes does not focus on development per se, it is nevertheless clear that his contribution is pertinent to development work, since the very same discourse was used to mobilize Dutch congregations anew to support schools, hospitals and other material development projects. In view of the fact that similar attempts at theological updating were taking place throughout western Christianity, one surmises that the confessionalization of development work has made an important contribution also to the sacralization of development work. The chapter on Latin America contributed by Andre Droogers and Joop van Kessel (Chapter 3) provides an illustration of the opposite process: states or state agencies aiming at deconfessionalizing development work. Examin­ ing the significance attached to religion in successive development models from the 1960s onwards, they come to the conclusion that these models are generally characterized by a tendency to discredit, ignore or marginalize reli­ gion, and more particularly folk religion, which is being depicted as the fons et origo of intellectual backwardness and economic stagnation. The general occurrence of this anti-religious attitude as well as the vehemence with which some development theorists propagandized against religion suggest that more was at stake than material control over development w ork. There was a con­ sciousness also on the part of development experts of having been called to provide an alternative cosmology, based on science and ‘therefore’ superior to the religious world-view. The state has now stepped into the role of the missionary and because of this the classic rivalry between church and state came to be extended beyond national boundaries. Many churches have a long tradition in development work. The first schools, hospitals and training institutions in Third World countries were usually mission-built and mission-owned. Not every undertaking was successful how­ ever, and mission histories abound with tales of setbacks of all kinds, which are usually attributed to faults on the part of the newly established congregations. Rarely was it realized that these faults’ more often than not were the result of a breakdown of communication inadvertently caused by the mother churches. In Chapter 4 Philip Quarles van Ufford examines a history of church aid spanning a period of over a century. During that period a number of sharp conflicts arose between a Dutch and a Javanese Protestant church. He argues that these crises were provoked by processes of updating and redefinition of the ecclesiastical discourse such as we saw at work in Chapter 2. Redefinition of aims meant redefinition of policies, and although such redefinitions might not seem all that radical, their consequences were invariably disastrous for



two reasons. The first was that, when policies were up for redefinition, the church was always forced to give priority to the wishes of the fund-providing audience over those of the fund-receiving audience (Lissner 1977). The second was that the churches had little idea of the transformations that their plans and policies were undergoing in the field (Quarles van Ufford 1986, 1988). Because of this, major changes of policy in the mother church led to a total collapse of networks of relationships built up over many years. In the next two cases we are concerned with governments of Third World countries themselves acting as development agencies. In Chapter 5 Jan van der Linden and Frits Selier ask themselves what to make of the intermittent explosions of government planning in relation to urban migrants in Pakistan. Every so often ambitious plans are developed to promote rural development or to improve urban housing, but these plans never come to anything. The authors argue that the Pakistani government is not really concerned about realizing these development plans, since those responsible realize all too well that this is an impossible task. Their primary aim in launching new develop­ ment plans is the transmission of an ideological message to the effect that Pakistan has a modem and efficient government, which cares for its citizens. It is thus a matter of projecting an image of ongoing modernization rather than attempting to initiate a concrete programme. Viewed thus, the Paki­ stani case is an illustration of the symbolic value that a real o r supposed concern with development may have for a government, and the Potemkian consequences that may follow when funds are scarce and when there is no efficient administrative backing. In Chapter 6 we return once more to the question of the relationship between church and state. Adrianus Koster analyses the growing tensions between the church and the state in Malta since Independence. By making use of a long-term historical perspective, he shows how from the colonial era onwards that relationship inevitably evolved towards a state of permanent conflict. The emphasis of his analysis is not on the question as to what internal social contrasts conditioned the conflict, although he is aware of such contrasts. Instead Koster prefers to see the conflict as being vitally concerned with the identity and the future of Malta. What made the Maltese church into the bastion of power it used to be in the first half of the present century was the combination of British protection and the massive support of a population which in those days clung to the church as the principal symbol of Maltese identity vis-à-vis the occupyer. This gave the church a chance fully to monop­ olize the development perspective of the Maltese population. The departure of the British at last made it possible to initiate a meaningful debate about Maltese identity and the direction in which development should go. However, the political parties of that time no longer wanted to accept the monopoly of the church over so many spheres of life. The church, in turn, responded by prohibiting its faithful to vote for parties which were openly hostile to it.



The result of it all was a profound and painful polarization, of which the tugof-war regarding education, from which Koster draws most of his illustrative material, is a prime example. Bernard Venema presents a quite different picture of the relations between the Tunisian state and Islam (Chapter 7). He poses the question in what man­ ner the Tunisian government has managed to create an atmosphere which thus far has proved unsuitable for the emergence and spread of Islamic fundamen­ talism. The author describes the Tunisian development policy as essentially a secularizing programme, the roots of which he traces back to the colonial era. From the very beginning the colonial government aimed at imposing a development programme geared among other things to reducing the influence of the mullahs and fraternities. Although this has led to occasional friction, the government has, by means of a policy of give-and-take, been able to create an impression of mutual agreement and co-operation. Religion as actual or supposed foe of development is a situation often met with. But history also provides us with countless instances in which religion has been a major force in promoting development. Heather Sutherland (Chapter 8) discusses the role of Islam in the growth of long-distance trade and political centralization in the Southeast-Asian Archi­ pelago from the seventeenth century onwards. The accepted view is that the new faith was able to gain so much influence because it functioned as an im­ portant mechanism for the regulation and integration of trading connections, which were then in a process of rapid expansion. Islam was able to exer­ cise that function because it provided a new symbolic focus and an accepted arena for the resolution of conflict between traders who, no longer content to confine themselves to the old local boundaries, increasingly went beyond them. Sutherland does not challenge that view, but she adds a new element to it, by arguing that the dissemination of Islam throughout the archipelago was to an important extent connected also with central and regional elite groups, including traders and political leaders, whose conflicting interests led them to opt for different and antagonistic versions of Islam. One consequence of such enrolment in opposing religious factions was an intensification of recruiting efforts on both sides and the promotion of Islam to a greater extent than otherwise would have been the case. Now, why should traders and princes feel impelled to support different religious interpretations within the Islamic tradition? Her argument is that it was important both for the traders, who wanted to go quietly about their business, and for the sultan, who wanted to consolidate his grip, that a strong centralized political power be established. Centralized power, however, constituted a potential threat to the traders who might become increasingly dependent on the sultan. This danger could be diminished if the traders could unite in a way which would provide them with the means to exercise effective and legitimate pressure on the princes.



These case histories impress us with the remarkable coalescence of religion and politics in the concept of development. When governmental authorities and development agencies claim continuity for their authority, that is to say, when they want that authority to be accepted as efficient and legitimate, they have to offer visions of a better world, and they have to make promises to that end. What we have come to see is that in these attempts at legitimation the concept of development plays such an important role because it possesses the very combination of religious and political meaning needed to mobilize a significant following. That same combination also implies that alternative religious definitions of a better world can effectively be challenged and that, if necessary, competing religious movements can be eliminated or marginalized. The religious dimension o f survival strategies Towards the end of the 1970s we have witnessed a series of sometimes heated debates about so-called survival strategies in South-East Asia and, at a some­ what later stage, in sub-Saharan Africa as well (i.a. Scott 1976; Keyes et al. 1984; Hyden 1980; Geschiere 1984). The concept ‘survival strategy’ has been introduced primarily to highlight the resistance of the peasantry against the increasingly intensive efforts on the part of the state to integrate them into the wider economical and political order and thus to establish more effective control over them . The function of the concept was to bring the nature of that resistance and the remarkable resilience of peasant societies into focus. The discussion began as an attack on dogmatic Marxist theorizing about class formation and class exploitation, which was felt to be inapplicable to peasant societies, and which made it necessary to develop a new and more adequate theory of ‘micro economics’ (Scott 1976, p. 7). Disappointingly, the debates about survival theories have little to say about culture in general and religion in particular. The way peasant economies were organized was described primarily in terms of a straightforward defensive reaction against the penetration of economic and political influences, which were felt to be a threat to the traditional order. It is evident, however, that resistance movements among peasants can hardly be discussed without taking into account also the fundamental religious reorientations which are generated in the process. New cults may spring up and existing cults may be trans­ formed in ways which confer meaning and direction on a society’s resistance against state penetration (Schoffeleers 1985a). These responses to externally induced transformations may clearly substantiate the point of view of Victor Turner, in that these present new models of comm uni tas, alternative to the prevalent power structures. To those in power this may seem pure anarchy. It is therefore one of the tenets of the research programme of the Institute of Cultural Anthropology/Sociology of Development at the Free University (see Preface) that the study of religious transformations is a particularly ef­ fective way to study a community’s reactions to government interference and



the introduction of development programmes. It is important though to use the plural in this case, and to speak of cults and transformations, because these reactions are seldom of the same kind. Talking of survival strategies, we may distinguish between four contexts in which the term is being used in the various chapters, viz. physical, political, cultural and psychological survival. Physical survival is the theme in Dick Kooiman’s analysis of religious con­ versions in Travancore, South India, in the second half of the nineteenth cen­ tury (Chapter 9). Kooiman asks himself whether and to what extent food and medical help given by the London Missionary Society to the Untouchables and other marginalized groups at times of famine and epidemics stimulated the growth of the Christian community. From the mission archives it appeared that there actually was a significant correlation between mission aid on the one hand and conversion to Christianity on the other, but the archives did not say that the gain was a great deal smaller, when held against the number of reconversions to Hinduism on the same occasions. The phenomenon of people returning to their original faith—or ‘primitive beliefs’ as the missionaries might have said—was something that was, for one reason o r other, left unrecorded. This continuous border traffic is an indication also that the social nuances or differences based on religion were less important to the Untouchables than to the missionaries. Kooiman interprets it in the perspective of their marginal position as a way of keeping open several options at the same time. Religious pluriformity or religious flexibility can be an advantage when people face the problem of how to survive. Matthew Schoffeleers examines two theological systems, known respectively as ‘African Theology* and ‘Black Theology*, which over the past twenty years have emerged in South Africa in reaction to the apartheid system (Chapter 10). Both provide a formula for a new society, but they do this in entirely different ways. Black Theology is geared towards the immediate dismantling of apartheid and injustice. It is a product of the black townships and its goal is equal access to the means of production for all South Africans. African Theology on the other hand advocates a greater adaptation of mainstream Christianity to the African tradition. It is an attem pt at cultural rather than political survival. Mobilizing a population to obtain greater regional autonomy at a time when the same region is being incorporated into wider political and economic structures may lead to the kind of paradoxical situation described by Peter Geschiere and Jos van der Klei in Chapter 11. Their case concerns a mas­ sive rebellion by the Diola people of the Basse Casamance region in South Senegal against the increasing interference of the national government. Their resistance expressed itself to a large extent in religious form. This is brought out particularly by the role played by the sacred groves, which are off-limits to strangers. It was in these sacred groves that the Diola resistance against the state and the future of the Diola community was discussed and organized.



However, these sacred groves were more than a place where secret meetings could be organized. Being part of their religion, they were also an important symbol of Diola identity. In the cases examined by Reimar Schefold and Wilhclmina van Wetering psychological survival appears to be the central aspect. Schefold (Chapter 12) discusses the constitution of ethnicity among the Batak and the Toraja in modem Indonesia, calling special attention to the changing appearance and functions of the traditional houses, the tongkonan, of the Toraja. These spec­ tacular constructions are mostly commissioned by Toraja who have migrated to one or another of Indonesia’s major cities. Schefold interprets the commis­ sioning of these tongkonan by urban migrants as an expression of the need for certainty, and more particularly as a reconfirmation of their traditional identity which the urban Toraja are in danger of losing. Yet the structure of the houses symbolizes more than that, for the tallness and the excessive refinements of these buildings make them unsuitable to live in. Their osten­ tatiousness therefore suggests in a rather dramatic manner that the soughtafter reconfirmation is actually a hollow gesture. Yet vain as the gesture may be, the migrants do not realize this, and it remains therefore at the same time a symbol of hope. Wilhelmina van Wetering’s contribution (Chapter 13) concerns a funeral ritual among Surinam Creoles in one of Amsterdam's high-rise suburbs. The majority of the Surinamese living in that part of the city form part of a mar­ ginalized group, which is plagued by drugs problems and attendant forms of crime. The ritual dramatizes the shifting balances of power in the Creole community, but it is also a brief pause, a moment of tranquility in the midst of storm, which gives the participants a feeling of togetherness despite their conflicts. Concluding remarks We began this introduction with a plea for an approach which would com­ bine development sociology with anthropology, and a concern for the Third World with a critique of the western world. We suggested that en route to this twofold aim, we might benefit from conceiving of development theories and activities as a religious phenomenon eliciting a diversity of religious responses among the receiving community. We have tried to demonstrate the validity of this conception with the aid of examples drawn from the various chapters of this book. But what are the advantages of this approach? First, we think that it wil make us more keenly aware of the ideological side of development work. We saw, for instance, that the concept of development may serve as a legitimation for the continuation of an asymmetric relationship in which the interests and viewpoints of the donors have priority over those of the receiving community. We were also able to note that development work



is being used as an ideological battlefield on which secular and ecclesiasti­ cal agencies challenge each other's competences. Hence the moral question remains valid: what is it we are doing and why are we doing it? Second, the approach we propose may make us more sensitive to the reac­ tions of the communities undergoing planned change. When social scientists want to measure the impact of development projects, the usual method is that of the questionnaire, occasionally combined with in-depth interviews. Although we do not wish to belittle such methods, they clearly have their shortcomings, one of these being that the topics to be investigated and the questions to be asked were devised by the donors or their agents. It seems to us that an investigation into the variety of religious responses generated by a development project would reveal with much greater clarity and subtlety what the recipients themselves find important. Third, by subsuming the activities of the development experts and the responses of the recipient communities under the heading ‘religion’, a possi­ bility is created to view them as involved in a world-wide dialogue of which they are at best only vaguely aware because it is carried on in coded form . In that dialogue either party tries to tell the other what it seeks to achieve and what it expects from the other. The role of the social scientist vis-à-vis that dialogue is that of decoder and interpreter. It should be his task to bring to the surface issues that otherwise would remain hidden. In this he will reaffirm the insights of the founding fathers of our discipline. Both anthropology and development studies have to face the problems inherent in western society as well as those in other cultures. It is in this truly comparative perspective alone that one can hope for meaningful contributions. • We wish to thank Henny Blok]and, André Droogers, Frans Hüsken and Bernard Venema for their valuable comments on earlier drafts of this introduction. References Appadurai, A. 1981 The past as a scarce resource. Man (NS), vol. 16, pp. 201-219. Asad, T. (ed.) 1973 Anthropology and the colonial encounter. London: Ithaca Press. Baal, J. van 1982 De ethiek van de ontwikkelingssamenwerking. De Gids, vol. 145, no. 7, pp. 433-443. Balandier, u . 1955 Sociologie actuelle de l'Afrique noire. Paris: Gallimard. Bax, M. 1987 Religious rerimes and state formation: towards a research perspective. An­ thropological Quarterly, vol. 60, no. I, pp. 1-11. Bercer, P. 1974 Pyramids o f sacrifice; political ethics and social change. New York: Basic Books.



Bdlah, R.N. 1969 Religious evolution. In R. Robertson (ed.), Sociology of religion. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, pp. 262-292 Binsbergen, Wim van & Matthew Schoffclccrs (eds. ) 1985 Theoretical explorations in African religion. London: Kegan Paul Interna­ tional, pp. 1-49. Bourdieu, P. 1977 Outline of a theory ofpraxis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1979 Symbolic Power. Tebs, vol. 38, pp. 77-85. Brass, P. (ed.) 1985 Ethnic groups and the state. London: Croom Helm. Breman, Jan 1987 The shattered image: construction and deconstruction of the village in colonial Asia. Amsterdam: Centre for Asian Studies Amsterdam. Chambers, Robert 1983 Rural development; putting the last first. London: Longman. Crick, Malcolm 1982 Anthropological field research, meaning creation and knowledge construc­ tion. In D. Parkin (ed.), Semantic anthropology. London: Academic Press, pp. 15-38. Dahrendorf, R. 1968 Die angewndte Aufklarung; Gesellschaft und Soziologie in Amerika. Frank­ furt: fischer. De Heusch, L. 1972 Le roi ivre ou Vorigine de l'état. Paris: Gallimard. Eng. transi, (by Roy Willis) The drunken king. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982. Drooeers, A. 1985 From waste making to recycling: a plea for an eclectic view of models in the study of religious change. In W. van Binsbergen & M. Schoffeleers (eds.), Theoretical explorations in African religion. London: Kegan Paul In­ ternational, pp. 101—137 Douglas, M. 1982 The effects of modernization on religious change. Daedalus, Winter 1982,

PP !~19

Fabian, Johannes 1983 Time and the other; how anthropology makes its object. New York: Columbia University Press. Fardon, R. (ed.) 1985 Power and knowledge: anthropological and sociological approaches. Edinburg: Scottish Academic Press. Firth, Raymond 1981 Spiritual aroma: religion and politics. American Anthropologist, vol. 83, no. 3, pp. 582—601. Foster-Carter, Aioan 1976 From Rostow to Gunder Frank: conflicting paradigms in the analysis of underdevelopment. World Development, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 167-181. Geschiere, P. 1984 La paysannerie africaine est-elle captive? Sur la thèse de Goran Hyden et pour une réponse plus nuancée. Politique Africaine, vol. 14, pp. 13—33. Gluckman, M. 1965 Politics, law and ritual in tribal society. Oxford: Blackwell.



Godelier, Maurice 1975 Towards a Marxist anthropology of religion. Dialectical Anthropology, vol. 1, pp. 81-5. 1978 Infrastructures, societies and history. Current Anthropology, vol. 19, no. 4, pp . 763-71. Grillo, R. & A. Rew (eds.) 1985 Social anthropology and developmentpolicy. London: Tavistock Publications. Hayter, Th. 1985 Aid: rhetoric and reality. London: Pluto Press. Hewitt de Alcantara, C. 1982 Boundaries and paradigms; the anthropological study o f rural life in Mex­ ico. Laden; Laden Development Studies, Department of Development Sociology. Hobart, M. 1986 ‘A peace in the shape of a durian, or the state of the self in Bali’. Un­ published paper. London: SOAS. 1987 Summer’s days and salad days: the coming of ace of anthropology? In L. Holy (ed.), Comparative anthropology. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 22-51 Husken, Frans 1988 Cycles of commercialization and accumulation in a Central-Javanese vil­ lage. In G. Hart et al. (eds.), Agrarian transformations, accumulation, social conflict and the state in Southeast Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press, forthcoming. Husken, F ., D. Kruijt A Pn. Quarles van Ufford (eds.) 1984 TTieorie, ondeizoek en ontwikkeling. In idem, Trends en tradities in de ontwikkelingssociologie. Muiderberg: Coutinho, pp. 8-24. Hyden, G . 1980 Beyond Ujamaa in Tanzania: underdevelopment and an uncapturedpeasantry. London: Heinemann. 1983 No shortcuts to progress; African development management in perspective. London: Heineman. Kemp, Jeremy 1987 Seductive mirage: the search for the village community in Southeast Asia. Amsterdam: Centre for Asian Studies Amsterdam. Keyes, Ch.F. (984 Introduction. Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 42, no. 4 (August). Kruijt, D. A M. Vellinga 1983 Ontwikkelingsnuip getest; resultaten onder de loep. Muiderberg: Coutinho. Leach, E. 1982 Social anthropology. London: Fontana. Lévi-Strauss, C. 1958 Anthropologie structurale. Paris: Librairie Pion. Linden, J. van der 1986 The sites and services approach reviewed. Aldershot: Gower. Lissner, J. 1977 The politics o f altruism; a studv ofpolitical behaviour o f voluntary development ries. Geneva: Lutheran World Federation. .

1978 Transformation and tradition. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. Long, Norman 1984 Ruimte scheppen voor verandering' een visie op de ontwikkelingssociologie.



Wageningen: Landbouwuniversi teit. Marcus, George E. & Michael M.J. Fischer 1986 Anthropology as cultural critique. An experimental moment in the human sci­ ences. Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press. Mauss, Marcel 1966 The gift; forms andfunctions o f exchange in archaic societies. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Myrdal, Gunnar 1968 Asian drama; an inquiry into the poverty of nations. London: Penguin Books. Nientied, P. & J. van der Linden 1985 Approaches to low income bousing in the Third World; some comments. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. IX, no. 3, pp. 311-329. Ortner, Sherry B. 1984 Theory in anthropology since the sixties. Comparative Studies in Society and History, vol. 26, pp. 126-166. Parkin, David J. 197S The rhetoric of responsibility: bureaucratic communications in a Kenyan farming area. In M. Bloch (ed.), Political language and oratory in traditional society. London: Academic Press, pp. 113—141. 1982 Introduction. In D. Parkin (ed ), Semantic anthropology. London: Aca­ demic Press, pp. xi-li. Q uarles van Ufford, Philip


Theorie en beleid. In Frans Husken et al. (eds), Trends en tradities in de ontwikkelingssociologie. Muiderberg: Coutinho, pp. 136—149. 1988 The hidden crisis in development: development bureaucracies in between intentions and outcomes. In Ph. Quarles van Ufford, D. Kruijt & Th. Downing (eds.), The hidden crisis in development: development bureaucracies. Tokyo/Amsterdam: United Nations University Press/Free University Press, pp. 1-30. Quarles van Ufford, Philip (ed.) 1986 Local leadership and programme implementation in Indonesia. Amsterdam: Free University Press. Rew, A. 1985 The organizational connection: multidisciplinary practice and anthropolog­ ical theory. In R. Grillo Sc A. Rew (eds.), Social anthropology and develop­ ment policy. London: Tavistock Publications, pp. 185-198. RiMs, Fred 1964 Prismatic society. Boston: Houghton Misslin. Robertson, A.F. 1984 People and the state; an anthropology o f planned development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Schoffeleers, J . M. 1985a Pentecostalism and neo-traditionalism. [Anthropological Papers no. 1.) Am­ sterdam: Free University. 1985b Oral history and the retrieval of the distant past: on the use of legendary chronicles as sources of historical information. In W. van Binsbergen A J.M . Schoffeleers (eds ), Theoretical explorations in African religion. Lon­ don: Kegan Paul International, pp. 189-224. 1985c Religion and power. Social Compass, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 5—13.



Schoffeleers, J . M. (cd.) 1979 Guardians o f the land. Gwelu: Mambo Press. Schoffeleers, J . M. A D . Meijers 1978 Religon, nationalism and economic action. Critical questions on Durkheim and Weber. Ass-en: Van Gorcum. Scboorl, J.W. 1974 Sociologie der modernisering een inleiding in de sociologie der niet-westerse volken. Deventer: Van Loghum Slaterus. Scott, J.C. 1976 The moral economy o f the peasant. New Haven: Yale University Press. Smet,A.J. 1975 Bibliographie sélective des religions traditionelles de rAfriaue Noire. Ca­ hiers des Religions Africaines, vol. 9, nos. 17—18, pp. 181—253. Soest, Jaap van 1978 The start o f international development cooperation in the United Nations, 1945-1952. Assen: Van Gorcum. Sundkler, B. 1948 Bantu prophets in South Africa. London: Oxford University Press for the International African Institute. Taylor, Charles 1983 Social theory as practice. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Turner, V.W. 1969 The ritual process. London: Routledge A Kegan Paul. Venema, L.B. (ed.) 1987 Islam en macht; een historisch antropologisch perspectief. Assen: Van Gor­ cum. Weber, Max 1972 Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie. Tubingen. Wolf, E R. 1982 Europe and the people without history. Berkeley: University of California Press. Worsley, Peter 1984 The three worlds; culture and world development. Chicago: Chicago Univer­ sity Press.

2 Religion and Power: Modernization Processes in Dutch Protestantism Hans Tennekes

Ever since the discipline formerly known as ‘ethnology’ has assumed the name ‘cultural anthropology’, its practitioners claim that their science is conducive to a general understanding of human society and culture. Justifying their continued preference for studying less complex, Third World societies, they characterize these as cultural-anthropological ‘laboratories’. The relative per­ spicuity of these societies, they argue, allows for insights into cultural inter­ connections that are much harder to discern in more complex societies. It seems to me quite possible, however, that, to find answers to at least one group of questions, modem, complex societies—such as Dutch society—may be looked upon as highly appropriate laboratories. This is certainly the case for the position I intend to defend below. The central theme in this chapter is the relation between religion and power. I part company with some anthropologists to the degree that I would uphold a relative autonomy of religious discourse and practice with respect to the world of power and interests. In this context I will seek to determine to what extent changes in religious discourses and practices can be explained in terms of a cultural logic inherent in them, without reducing them to products of struggles for power or battles of interest. Next I show how religious discourses and practices may serve as source of power rather than as its product. Seculari­ zation overtook Dutch society more quickly and more comprehensively than it did many other modem western societies, such as the United States. For this reason the Netherlands is an excellent backdrop for the elaboration of the point of view regarding the relation of religion and power which I would propose here. I will conclude my argument by restating the results gained through this approach.1 © Free University Press. 1988



Religion and power It has been some time since Abner Cohen (1974) emphasized the need to relate in a systematic way the study of cognitive systems to the study of power. According to Cohen development of both political and religious anthropology would benefit greatly from such interconnection. Talal Asad is one author who has taken up the theme in two articles which direct attention to the role played by power in cultural and religious systems of meaning (Asad 1979,1983). The second of these studies is devoted to a basic criticism of the well-known defi­ nition of religion given by Geertz (1973, p. 9c): ‘a system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and cloth­ ing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.' Asad denounces Geertz’s propensityshared by many an anthropologist—to ignore the part played by power in the development and preservation of religious systems. He introduces an alter­ native programme of research based on the assumption of an intimate bond between religion and power. One of his sources of inspiration is the work of Foucault, which treats of ideas, representations and action patterns in terms of discourses and practices dominated by a will to power. Towards the end of his article Asad summarizes this programme in these recommendations: Let us begin by asking what are the historical conditions (movements, classes, insti­ tutions, ideologies) necessary for the existence of particular religious practices and discourses. In other words, let us ask: how does power create religion? To ask this question is to seek an answer in terms of the social disciplines and social forces which come together at particular historical moments to make particular religious discourses, practices and spaces possible. (Asad 1983, p. 252) Asad is prepared to grant anthropologists such as Geertz that religious sym­ bols and conceptions frequently exercise persuasive force on human thought and action. His own fascination is with the historical process in which par­ ticular symbols and conceptions attain authoritative status while others are brushed aside. His interest in ‘social disciplines’ and ‘social forces’ is relative to this context: The connection between religious theory and practice is fundamentally a matter of power—of disciplines creating religion, inteipreting true meanings, forbidding certain utterances and practices and authorising others. (Asad 1983, p. 246) Illustrating his view of religion with examples from the history of Christendom (Roman Catholicism specifically), Asad shows that the truths of the Christian religion developed within a highly specific historical context, and that believers did not accept them entirely spontaneously. Conversion from paganism or heresy to the one true faith appears inseparable from disciplinary mechanisms and power relationships:



It was. . . power that imposed the conditions for experiencing that truth. Particular discourses and practices were to be systematically excluded, forbidden, denounced— made as much as possible unthinkable; others were to be included, allowed, praised, and drawn into the narrative of sacred truth. The configurations of power in this sense have, of course, varied profoundly in Christendom from one epoch to another. . . but the patterns of religious mood and motivations, the possibility for religious knowledge and truth, have all varied with them and been conditioned by them. (Asad 1983, p. 243) Every religion, says Asad, should be approached in terms of dependence on the ‘authoritative practices and discourses’ through which religious significations are created (Asad 1983, p. 249). Applying this to medieval Christendom one is immediately confronted with the creative role of the institutionalized power of the Roman Catholic Church and with the church’s firm grip on the ‘author­ izing process’ that gave birth to the Christian religion (Asad 1983, p. 244). A telling example of the creation of religious representations and experiences by way of a given discipline is Confession, introduced in the thirteenth century: It was through this discipline. . . that specific sins were created as experience-'-not merely in the confessional but in everyday life—in acts committed or omitted, in words spoken or overheard, in the very contemplations of possibilities entertained in everyday life. Thus out of the avoidance or the absolution of particular sins was constructed a large pan of the spiritual life available to laymen. Manuals of confession multiplied the categories of sin, its conditions and its consequences with astonishing relentlessness. Confession itself was a continuous process, a pervasive network, in which the power of the church produced not only the self-knowledge of the subject, but also the systematic knowledge of a Christian society. Manuals for the guidance of priest and penitent, ordinances of councils, decretals, treatises on canon law, summas, sermon literature, mystical writings—all fed into and grew on the practice of confession. (Asad 1983, p. 254) Asad’s ideas regarding the study of religion are in line with his views on the study of culture, expressed in an earlier article (1979). There he asserts that many anthropologists base themselves on a ‘very questionable theory of culture’, a theory assigning ‘logical priority’ to an understanding of culture as a ‘system of authoritative meaning supposedly shared by an ideologicallydefined community, and independent of the political activity and economic conditions of its members’ (Asad 1979, p. 614). Over against this he advo­ cates a systematic interrelation of cognitive systems and power (together with relevant economic and material conditions). Rather than assuming a system of authoritative meanings, one should, Asad believes, ask how the distinct types of authoritative discourse in which culture is given form are materially produced and maintained as authoritative (Asad 1979, p . 619). It cannot be doubted that the perspective on the relation of religion and power developed by Asad is inspirational and fruitful. Since anthropological research is often aimed at societies and cultures in which the role of religion is in many ways a central one, such research is certain to benefit from the use



of this perspective. Even so, From a theoretical point of view his approach remains one-sided. If religion is indeed bound up with power as intimately as Asad suggests, then the danger of reduction is hard to circumvent. The political anthropologist will easily overcome the religious anthropologist, and, ultimately, all will be explained by the factor ‘power*. It seems to me that one is justified in saying that (belief in) a religious conceptual universe is (to a degree) produced by religious power, if and only if simultaneously one acknowledges that, in turn, such religious power is (to a degree) based on (belief in) the very same conceptual universe. That is to say, focus on power processes may not lead us to loose sight of the need to account for the logic proper to religious conceptualizations as they develop historically. This logic cannot be reduced to (for instance) mere manipulation by those who defend their interests or lust after power. And its historical development is not exclusively a story of conflicting interests and struggles for power. Emphatically, we must guard against the inclination to grant priority to the one above the other or to explain the one in terms of the other. Asad rightly criticizes the propensity of many anthropologists to speak of religion and culture without taking into account the dimension of power. Drummond is no less right in his critique of Asad to the effect that the latter runs the risk of falling into the reverse trap. I can but agree with Drummond when he expresses appreciation for Asad’s research programme, but adds that precisely a programme aimed at systematic interconnection of cognitive sys­ tems and power ought to imply ‘an increased commitment to the study of sys­ tems of meanings’ (Drummond 1980, p. 738). Insight into the proper nature of meaning coherences is indispensable to the study of the relation between processes of signification and processes of the exercise of power. It cannot be doubted that inquiry into the ways in which power creates religion is most worthwhile—as long as one realizes that, in turn, religion produces pow er.2 To put flesh and bones on this statement I devote the re­ mainder of this essay to the elaboration of two theses, meant to correct the research perspective I just termed inspirational and fruitful. They read as follows: 1. Cultural processes, including those in the area of religion, possess a logic proper to them, which cannot be reduced to the logic of power. 2. Religious discourse and religious practice are (in part) products of power and (sometimes) producers of power. Processes of secularization in Dutch Protestantism A fairly extensive analysis of certain developments in contemporary Christen­ dom will make my theses more concrete. To choose an example taken from current Christendom is to extend the research programme proposed by Asad, since his proposal does not limit itself to a theoretical perspective; it contains



a specific object of investigation as well. Asad holds that anthropologists are well-advised to concern themselves with historical processes within Christen­ dom more intensively than they did before. Its early history is ‘a particularly splendid field’ for the study of the relation of power and religion. I agree. Nevertheless, I would put in a plea for attention to its later history as well. In the wake of the rapid modernization of western society Christendom’s recent history is dominated by a secularization process of increasing radical­ ism. The power and social status of religious leaders, organizations and in­ stitutions is steadily eroding. A religion that once gave direction to an entire civilization is now caught up in a process in which it is steadily losing its authoritative status in a succession of domains and, hence, its social function. The usefulness of the Christian religion as legitimate basis for justification or contestation of social positions, strivings and ambitions is lessening in propor­ tion to its continued privatization and marginalization. This process of secularization provides an excellent opportunity for an in­ quiry into the relation between religion and power. In most societies and cultures religion is intimately connected with power and interests; a situation in which these are reduced to a minimum, therefore, is an arresting one. Just as medieval Christendom is particularly appropriate when one would analyse how power produces religious discourse and practice, the inner logic—irreduc­ ible to that of power—o f religious discourse and practice is best approached in a study of today’s powerless Christendom. My intention is to concentrate on the initiation of a specific, modem version of Christendom: that of Christians critical of the existing social, economic and political order. To understand properly the chain of events in the Nether­ lands which led to this new type of Christendom one needs some background information on how Dutch society developed within the context of western modernization. In the Netherlands modernization initially led to seculariza­ tion to a far lesser degree than it did in neighbouring countries. The reason for this is that the recent history of Dutch society bears the mark of a specific compartmentalization called ‘pillarization’ (verzuiling) . This pillarization oc­ curred in consequence of the rise of three emancipation movements: that of workers, Roman Catholics and orthodox Protestants. The movement of the socialist (later: social-democratic) workers in the Netherlands developed along a trajectory comparable to that in neighbouring countries. In contrast, the two religious emancipation movements are more specifically Dutch. The eman­ cipation of Roman Catholics was historically inevitable in a country where for centuries they were treated as second-rate citizens. Orthodox Protestants constituted a group which in the nineteenth century resisted discrimination directed against them by the liberal bourgeoisie dominant in church, state and society. However great the difference between these groups with respect to social composition, status and ambitions, each established a ‘pillar’ of its own. From



the end of the nineteenth century until well into the twentieth they built a wellknit totality of organizations mobilizing the members of the group in various areas of life. Socialists, Roman Catholics and Protestants eacfc formed their own political parties, labour unions, youth organizations, radio broadcasting associations, housing associations, hospitals and the like. For the two religious movements in particular the establishment of their own schools was a central issue. It would be correct to say that to a large extent Dutch society was segmented along religious and political lines. Since the 1960s, however, this system of pillarization has deteriorated. With­ out going into the more encompassing social context of this ‘de-pillarization’, one can say that the process is very much bound up with the 'natural' dynam­ ics of emancipation movements. The success of an emancipation movement depends in large measure on how well the ranks are closed and to what degree efforts are directed to the common goal of social recognition. Attainment of the goal makes the cry for unity fall silent. Instead, the temptation is to open windows to winds of change. Soon the doors are unlocked, and members of the group venture out into the very society and culture formerly held at bay with the conviction of the ‘worker’, the ‘Catholic’ or the ‘orthodox Protestant’. For those who inhabited the two religious compounds, coming forward meant a radical reorientation. To the extent that they seek to hold on to the Christian convictions that shaped their lives they are confronted with the task of adapting these convictions to the modem culture they are begin­ ning to share. Moreover, they must maintain the faith community of which they are part, while the situation is such that the protection offered by once well-defined group limits, the support of former power formations and group interests directing pillarization are now falling away. The outcome of this thoroughgoing reorientation is a ‘social-critical’ Christendom.3 The situation in which this type of Christendom is developing is very well suited to serve as basis for the empirical elaboration of the theses posited above. Pillarization was a process of political and social mobilization of groups in search of emancipation in the context of the comprehensive modern­ ization of Dutch society. It is therefore an ideal field of investigation for anthropologists curious about the intertwinement of religion and social pro­ cesses controlled by power and interests. If the assertion that power (to a degree) produces religion is a plausible one, then, surely, this is the place to demonstrate i t . Conversely, the subsequent de-pillarization and the accelera­ tion of radical secularization to which this, in turn, gave rise in the Nether­ lands, created a situation such that this interlacement weakened. Far less than before are religious developments directed by the power and interests struggle of the broader social context. The inner logic embedded in processes of (re­ ligious) signification and shifts of meaning will manifest itself most clearly in a situation in which ‘the creative role of the institutional power of the church’— starting-point of Asad’s analysis—is reduced to a minimum, and where change



in religious discourse and practice is no longer grafted onto the configuration of power and the struggle of interests dominant in society at large. Also, the power potential of a religious elite in processes of religious signification can be analysed best in a situation in which religious institutions are losing ground and where many power sources available in former days can no longer be mobilized. Modernization of the Christian religion Cultural processes are shifts and changes in meanings and, as such, are char­ acterized best as the sum of discoveries arrived at by (groups of) people in the course of their lives. Seen from a cultural vantage point, secularization amounts to the discovery that religious representations and insights are less efficacious in orientation to the realities of nature and society than earlier generations held them to be. Authoritative discourses and practices based on non-religious views are displacing religious insights in a succession of do­ mains. In consequence, a growing number of people conclude that the Chris­ tian religion is not really reliable and relevant in any domain at all. On the other hand, many of those who in the early 1960s ventured beyond the protec­ tive orbit of the Christian ‘pillar’ are not at all convinced that this conclusion is inevitable. On the contrary, they believe it worth their while to go in search of a new understanding of the Christian religion—an understanding capable of demonstrating that religion is indeed (or perhaps eminently) credible in contemporary modern culture and relevant in day-to-day existence. This quest for a new perspective on the Christian religion is very much a creative process. The potentialities for understanding the central tenets of the Christian tradition in terms of the contemporary cultural horizon of under­ standing and experience are explored in every conceivable way. Naturally, the possibilités are restricted by the nature of the ‘material’ available. The ‘store’ of meanings amassed in modem western culture and in the Christian tradition displays a set of patterns that programmes, as it were, the scan­ ning of possibilities. Discoveries arrived at in the search consequently evince a logic proceeding from the internal coherence of the relevant systems of meaning. Creativity and cultural ‘coercion’ do not exclude but include each other. In this section I trace the internal cultural logic of discovery guiding modern Christians, in order to show that the search conducted by relatively many of them led to the development of a new social-critical version of Christendom. Three themes in this development will be singled out: (1) the process of deobjectifying and relativizing the claim to truth; (2) the shift in the central problem-set on which the Christian message is based; (3) the (unintended) privatization of the Christian religion occasioned by these two processes.



From mission to dialogue: de-objectification and relatmzation First, then, I offer a few comments on the de-objectification of the Chris­ tian religion. The orthodox-Calvinist tradition which lies at the basis of the Protestant-Christian pillar is rooted in a world-view with an exclusive truthclaim. Entirely in keeping with the definition of religion given by Geertz, it postulates a divinely controlled, ‘general order of existence’, permeating the entire social construction of reality by way of an extensive whole of religious symbolism. This world-view gains an ‘aura of factuality’, such that religious practices seem to be ‘uniquely realistic’. To those who left the Christian pillar and now participate fully in mod­ em culture it is becoming increasingly difficult to experience the Calvinistic world-view as ‘factuality’. For one thing, the dependence on states of affairs that escape human control has diminished. Scientific and technological de­ velopments, the rise of the capitalist world system and that of the democratic welfare state have altered the reality of our lives profoundly. Today, one feels less dependent on a God-given order of being than on man-made ‘structures’ determined by technological achievements and social processes. Believers who do not keep aloof from the events in the world around them, too, find it hard to resist the suggestive power of the ‘makeability* of the world. They notice that the experiential factuality of their faith is evaporating. For them, the presence of God is shrinking in the world of facts; it looks as if he has gone in hiding behind them. In consequence, believers are experiencing difficulty in continually seeing the omnipotence of God in all that occurs, and in believing that V e receive all things’ (including natural disaster, war, slaughter e tc .) ‘not by chance, but out of the fatherly hand of G od’. The horrors of Auschwitz and Hiroshima make it impossible to speak of God so, and the conclusion is near tkat, evidently, things happen in the world which God simply could not have wished. And even if people cling to the thought that he has the whole world in his hand, they are at a loss as to exactly how he is holding it. In other words, God and destiny are pulled apart; believers notice that their future is, to a significant degree, in their own hands and, in no less significant measure, depends on the mechanisms and processes man himself has brought to life. Moreover, development of the scientific study of the Bible profoundly in­ fluenced the way in which the reality of the Christian faith is experienced. Becoming acquainted with the results of modem Biblical scholarship, every believer who would not put rationality aside realizes that the Bible can no longer be read as a natural-scientific or historical textbook. Many matters told of in Scripture surely did not happen quite that way. Fortunately, the believer also discovers that the Bible allows of a different reading—for instance, as the story of people witnessing to how they came to understand God in their situation. Read this way, the believer notes, the Bible is as indispensable today



These developments may be described as so many varieties of de-objectifi­ cation . Gradually the religious conception of the world looses the character of naive factuality it formerly possessed. God is no longer used as a hypothesis. The claim that religious representations explain occurrences in the world of fact is made less frequently than before. What remains, however, is the postu­ lating of ‘meaning'—the conviction that, somehow, God is present in reality and confers on life meaning and coherence. In short: religious discourse be­ comes less of a context of explanation and tends to limit itself to a context of signification. With this, a gradual relativization of the claim to truth is given as well. Classic Calvinism's religious view was self-evidently the true view. Deviation from it was always condemned as greater or lesser heresy. Once one becomes aware in one’s own life, however, that the old formulae and the traditional behavioural code break down and one begins to look for a different interpre­ tation of the gospel, one becomes estranged from this self-evidence. There is a growing realization that faith cannot be fixed in formulae or in universally valid behavioural codes. One becomes convinced that each generation and every culture is faced with the task of giving a content to biblical truth. A process is put into motion in which the one ‘broadening of scope’ follows upon the other. Exemplary of these processes of view expansion are the recent developments in ideas regarding ecumenicity and mission. Once the recognition dawns that formulations of discourse and practice are culture and period bound, hence give ‘an’ answer rather than ‘the’ answer, there is far more room for the ecumenicalism dormant till then: the acknowledgement that for Christians the principle of unity is greater than the cause of separation. At first, toleration extends to minor differences only. One thing leading to another, the space gradually expands and fellow-believers are discovered among people who for­ merly were hardly accepted as Christians. Heretics who, for their own sake, should be made to see the error of their way, now become brothers and sisters in faith from whom one can surely learn. Mutual attempts to convert the other now becoming suspect, one is driven to ask if perhaps the time has not come to adopt a new attitude towards believers of non-Christian religions as well. As long as the Christian religion is experienced as in complete correspondence with the factual states of affairs, as uniquely realistic, the task Jesus put to mission: \ . . make disciples of all nations’ (M att. 28:19) obtains without restriction. The only right practice with respect to the heathen is missionary work. But when believers have come to see that heretics are in fact fellow-Chiistians, it will, in the long run, be diffi­ cult to avoid the question whether perhaps wholly other religions, too, contain more truth than originally supposed. The broadened vision these Christians now possess equips them to listen more attentively to what others say about the secrets of human existence. Accordingly, striving for dialogue displaces



attempts at converting. Fellow-Christians are not in need of conversion, but neither are the adherents of other religions. Missionary work is exchanged for dialogue. Both developments—‘from heretic to fellow-Christian’ and ‘from mission to dialogue’1—can be seen as relativization of the truth claim of one’s own religious vision. Gradually the pretension to exclusive truth is exchanged for the conviction that truth is inclusive. The shift in problem definition The development sketched above applies to all Christians whose religion is modernizing. Specific responses will diverge however, when, under pressure of the surrounding culture, formulation of the problem definition on which the Christian message is predicated begins to shift. I concentrate on the road that leads to the formulation of a social-critical type of Christendom. In the first place it may be noted that at this juncture in time the classicCalvinist message, based on the problem of human guilt and divine judgement, has lost much of its credibility and relevance for believers, including Christians of the political left- Although not out to deny the importance of the tradi­ tional problem definition, these Christians begin to wonder whether the gospel should not address itself also to the problems that demand attention today: armament escalation, minority groups, racism, women’s rights, social injustice, poverty and stagnating development in the Third World. The question of the relevance of the gospel for social issues is no longer directed primarily to Christianization (‘all of society in the grip of the gospel’), or to defending the achievements of one's own pillar (that part of society which is indeed in the grip of the gospel). At stake is the church’s task of contributing to the quality of life in a (world-)sodety where Christians are a minority group. In the search for an answer to this question the Old-Testament prophets are being rediscovered. Their unmitigated criticism allows Christians of the left to recognize themselves and their situation. The progressive view of society, legitimized by references to the prophets, is transformed into ‘thus sayeth the Lord . . .* and ‘it is the will of God th a t. . . ’ To the measure that people feel the load of the corporate guilt shared when existing structures are tolerated, as they are by many, and are aware of the need to walk the way of the Messiah (that is, the way of solidarity with the poor and the oppressed), to that measure the problems of individual guilt and of divine judgement after this life fade out of focus. While initially the question of the social relevance of the gospel was an issue next to the old problem of sin and grace, that question is now steadily moving into a key position. Injustice cries to high heaven, and the problems of the here-and-now clamour for attention to the point that the question of the life hereafter (and even the quest for God) is relegated to a minor plane. Christians cannot, people say, permit themselves the luxury of bunching together in church services to meet their G od liturgically and to sing of his grace until they have first made manifest in practice their solidarity



with the poor and the spum ed. What all of this means is that the problem definition on which the Christian message is based is altering profoundly. Luther’s question (starting-point in classic Calvinism as well) was: ‘how do I find a gracious God?’ For those who would no longer remain locked in their pillar the question becomes: ‘how do I find God?’ And within social-critical Christendom the question shifts once more: ‘how do I become co-worker of God and partisan of the poor?’ The above may be summarized as a development leading from the old as­ sertion ‘no salvation other than through the church’ to ‘no salvation other than through the movement of the poor and the oppressed (and those who join them)’—‘salvation’ here coming to mean: ‘living in a Messianic perspective’. Unforeseen consequences: privatization The inevitable consequence of the developments just described is the privatiza­ tion of religion. After all, Christians are not alone in their efforts towards a world of justice, peace and a higher quality of life. Non-Christians aim at the same goals and have, perhaps, done so longer and more intensively. The question of the specific weight of the Christian message becomes a pres­ sing one. Ultimately, the thing that counts is to stand up for the poor and the oppressed, to give a voice to those who remain unheard, and so on. All who do this are on the right path. The obvious conclusion is that the explicitly Christian convictions that may inspire some are, when one comcs down to it, a secondary consideration. Should it not be admitted that such convictions, while evidently a private source of motivation to those grown up with them, do not necessarily work for others already involved in the struggle towards a new and just society? It is not by chance that socialcritical Christians are less disposed than most other Christians are to convert (politically sympathetic) non-Christians. Precisely because the relevance of the Christian message is sought in the here-and-now of concrete human ex­ istence, and is linked to the wide-spread discontent regarding society as it is, this relevance is in fact limited to those who ‘happen to have’ a Christian background. It is in the upbringing of his children that the social-critical Christian is faced with the extent to which these developments cause religion to shrink into a purely individual, ‘for me personally’ kind of belief. The solemn phrases resounding in the past, such as ‘the Gospel is a power of God to the salvation of all who believe’, can be repeated no longer. He will try to explain that religion still means a lot to him, but he admits it to be quite understandable that they—the children—see things differently. It is hardly surprising that many children from social-critical Christian homes bid church and religion goodbye. The unintended consequence of the search for an interpretation of the Christian religion relevant and credible in modem secular culture seems to be t postponed (though no less thoroughgoing) assimilation to that culture.4



Currently, however, social-critical Christians are not yet prepared to see this development as inevitable. With great conviction they continue to prize the road travelled so far. The situation sketched above is a temporary terminal point of a process of modernization working itself out in the religious discourse and practice of a specific social group, a development leading from one system of mean­ ings (Calvinistic orthodoxy) to another (social-critical Christendom). In many respects the later system runs counter to the earlier one: it is a variety of Christendom in which the factuality of the ‘old-time religion* has evaporated, mission has turned into dialogue, and the definition of the central problem has changed in a fundamental way. Those involved are very much aware of the contrast. Recriminations abound between the two varieties. Conservative Calvinists reproach the social critics that they are denying the faith of the fathers. Conversely, social-critical Christians hold that on many points ‘the fathers’ were seriously mistaken. They are convinced that it is they who, at last, have (re-)discovered the gospel’s true and original meaning. Despite the contrast between these two varieties, the process which leads from the one to the other possesses a logic of its own. In the nature of the case, my account is but a sketch; nevertheless, it should be clear that, whenever I spoke of ‘arriving at the insight that’, ‘realizing that’, ‘being forced to admit that* and the like, a new crossing was negotiated in the implicational logic proper to cultural processes.5 In a way the one ‘discovery’ already anticipates the next. Those involved in this process have the feeling that they have come closer to ‘the truth’. They feel that their understanding of the true meaning of the gospel is increasing; finally they see what the Bible is ‘really’ about. Meanwhile the process of assimilation marches on irrevocably and people submit ever more completely to the authority of the discourse and practices fashionable within certain dominant social milieus in our society. Cultural processes are the sum total of the ‘discoveries’ people m ake. Too often, the outcome of such processes is wholly other than that envisioned by the participants themselves. The tale told here concerning the modernization of a specific group’s horizon of understanding and experience could, therefore, be the story (mutatis mutandis) of other groups in our society, such as the development of the homosexual world or the women’s movement. Processes of the exercise of power within a modern church To render plausible that cultural processes posses a logic proper to them, I explicitly abstracted from the power processes connected with them both in the broader social context and within the ecclesiastical and denominational organizations. In this paragraph I call attention to these processes of power, limiting myself, for the sake of brevity, to those at work within the churches.



I would emphasize that 1 consider it self-evident that power processes should play a central role in the modernization of the Christian religion as sketched above. If, within an ecclesiastical milieu, an age-old totality of religious dis­ courses and practices must relinquish its authoritative status to a specific variety of modernized Christendom, then that development will always be, in part, a consequence of processes of power. Even if certain developments express the ‘spirit of the times’, even if they follow their own logic, they were able to assert themselves by means of power mechanisms alone. Believers who struggle free from the social and cultural control of the traditional orthodoxy are not all of them equally responsive to attempts to seek the relevance of the gospel in a social-critical attitude. Those who are not outspokenly leftist will be inclined to look for such relevance elsewhere, while those who do sym­ pathize with social criticism will go that route, everyone at his own pace. This is why all sorts of processes of selection occur within denominational organizations and local congregations. Some individuals and groups succeed in giving their view on how to be a church or how to be a Christian a more or less authoritative status within their organization or congregation. Other individuals and groups feel themselves left out on account of this. They be­ come less active, seek greener fields elsewhere or give up their church member­ ship altogether. Often ‘leftists’ are the losers; sometimes those of the ‘right’ are. Sincc my topic is the development of a social-critical Christendom, I will take a closer look at the situation (frequently encountered in the larger cities) in which ‘rightists’ are losing o u t. First I analyse the ‘ingredients’ of the powergame played: the players, the stake, the rules and the power resources. Next I will try to make clear which processes of power play a part in the birth of a social-critical congregation. My point of departure will be the situation as it arises in local churches which have quit the social and cultural isolation of the Christian pillar, and are now faced with the question how to continue the Christian tradition in the midst of modem secularized society. The local congregation as political arena In comparison to the Roman Catholic Church a Calvinist Protestant Church is organized in a rather straightforward way and is largely without hierarchy. To be sure, the various denominations are organized nationally (classis and synod), and within the top, manned by appointees, power processes certainly are at work. However, I limit myself to the situation within the local con­ gregations, not only to keep this essay sufficiently brief, but also because the limitation is justified. However interesting a picture may be painted of the powerplays within the ecclesiastical top, it remains that the processes here at issue occur at the local level. Even then, I focus on congregations in the large cities, since it is there that the ‘de-pillarization’ and the assimilation with modem society entailed by it have progressed farthest.



A local congregation—a ‘parish’ in the d ty —consists of a pastor, a council (and churchmembers who voluntarily work in the congregation), members who regularly attend worship service and, often, a broad group of ‘paper members’ who participate in few or no activities. The pastor receives a salary guaranteed by the denominational organization and a concomitant legal status. On this point his situation is comparable to that of a civil servant. Since the ecclesias­ tical organization docs not offer much in the way of career-opportunities, his social position, on the other hand, is more like that of the professional who maintains his own practice. It is true that usually a pastor serves a succession of congregations in the course of his life, but this can hardly be termed a career. The church council and co-workers are volunteers who, other than in the past or in more traditional rural areas, derive no social standing from their office, except to some degree within the circle of core-members. The tendency is to see an invitation to a function in the church as implying a sacrifice rather than an honour. If one does allow oneself to be recruited the reasons for it are other than considerations of prestige: a sense of religious duty, appreciation for the pastor, the work is interesting and perhaps leads to attractive social contacts. Involvement on the part of the majority of the congregation is con­ sumptive. One attends worship services, shares in the costs and leaves it at that. Pastor, council (and co-workers) and congregation depend on one another, each in their own way. The congregation needs the pastor, as preacher, as teacher and for the performance of other services valued by the members. If he does not acquit himself of these tasks to their satisfaction they can— certainly in the d ty —go to another parish, or simply call on him no longer. The pastor, in turn, depends on the congregation for his job satisfaction. His aim is to bring spiritual life to the parish, so that faith is strong, much is happening and people care about each other. True, if he is unsuccessful and the congregation suffers, his career or economic position is not endan­ gered, but his job-satisfaction and his reputation among colleagues are. The parish coundl and co-workers are more or less in between. They contribute to the congregational ‘product’, although voluntarily. They can withdraw when they find the work becoming less attractive or when they no longer feel at home in the parish. This, in turn, in large measure depends on the pastor’s performance. Parish politics are at work espedally in meetings of the council, the com­ mittees and the congregational assembly. In these gatherings dedsions are taken regarding the functioning of the parish, such as the order of worship, activities on behalf of the youth and senior people or other groups within the church and outside of it. Much time and energy is invested in discussions on the way the available resources (in terms of finances and active help) can be expanded or, at least, be kept at a workeable level. The stakes in the political ‘game’, then, are matters that hardly touch the direct social-economic interests



of those involved. No-one ‘profits’ by a given outcome. Nevertheless, these matters are sufficiently weighty to require time-consuming meetings and hours at the telephone. After all, the discussions pertain to matters of immediate personal concern, which (for the pastor) relate to joy in his work and (for the parish members) have to do with feeling at home in the congregation and being able to identify with it. Obviously, usually there is no unanimous agreement on the matters under discussion. The decisions made are applauded by some and lamented by others. In the church, too, the political game counts its winners and its losers. But if we ask, from a political-anthropological point of view, ‘what makes for winning*—which are the rules of the game, which power resources are available to the different participants and so on—it turns out that the question admits of no easy answer. As I said, hierarchical structures of authority are virtually absent, canonical law and church order are frequently ignored and formal resources of power do not exist. Moreover, the means to pressure others in the sphere of interests are few. The church council, for instance, cannot dictate the pastor how to do his work. Conversely, the pastor can hardly force his will on council or congregation. If he did, overriding the parish members, he would run the risk that people simply move o u t. In general, therefore, people try to convince each other, the objective being the greatest consensus possible. The tolerance and companionship thus displayed is an affordable ‘luxury*: the stakes are not ‘hard-boiled interests’; at issue are questions such as ‘how to be the body of Christ here-and-now*. The power o f persuasion In the situation sketched above the traditional political-anthropological model of analysis yields less insight than it would elsewhere. Traditional analysis would approach the political game in terms of competition for scarce resources and opposing interest groups. If we mean to do justice to the proper nature of political processes within the—relatively—progressive Christian congrega­ tions we are dealing with here, we at least will need to pay extra attention to the power of argumentation. In many political-anthropological analyses this datum is largely overlooked. The ‘high-sounding phrases’ that are part and parcel of the politician’s arsenal are generally taken for no more than em­ bellishment of the real issue: looking after one’s own interest (as individual or as group). But this does not get us very far when we are faced with a political game within markedly egalitarian organizations that recruit their members on the basis of voluntary membership and involvement in an ideal that lies out­ side of the sphere of personal or group interests (the kingdom of God, a world without atomic weapons, elimination of exploitation and oppression, etc.). Within this type of organization ‘beautiful words’ most certainly are means of power. Those who are able to wield them most convincingly gain control over the others and can influence developments in a decisive way. This is why it is



important in these cases to trace how members of progressive congregations manage to convince others that a given decision is the right one. We should find out what arguments are of sufficient quality such that the other is silenced or forced to admit that he failed to take certain matters into account. If we want to get some idea of the power of argumentation within church communities, we need to pay attention to the more encompassing discourse which constitutes the context from which arguments derive their persuasive power. This discourse is produced and reproduced in many forms and in various contexts. It rules not only the discussions during meetings, but wor­ ship service and pastoral contacts as well. It asserts itself in informal per­ sonal contacts within the congregation, but via written communication, too, the people are continually confronted with it. Typical of this discourse is the distance maintained in it from the interest struggles that are so determina­ tive for the thinking and acting of Christians and non-Christians in everyday existence. In the progressive parishes this distance is even greater than it is in more traditional church communities. Discourse possessing authoritative status within these parishes does not really allow for considerations of power and interests (at least, not with respect to oneself or one’s group). Within the Christian community people ought not to strive for power or prestige, nor should personal gain or group interest be a concern. This means that, in the context of Christian discourse, participants have to overreach them­ selves, as it were. All sorts of considerations and arguments that are usual and acceptable in daily life prove to be ‘anathema’ in this context, since they do not correspond to the ‘newness of life’ out of which Christians aspire to live. Arguments that count are those based on considerations regarding ‘what Scripture says’, ‘the real content of our faith’ and *what the Lord expects of us’. Participants are not all equally at home in this type of discourse. Argu­ mentation is beset by traps and snares—things that Christians cannot really assert, and reasoning that is not in fact biblical. Moreover, within congrega­ tions in quest of a new understanding of the gospel discourse is continually developing and being adjusted. Many are at a loss as to what their religion really says or how they (should) look upon certain things, Frequently, their religious interpretation of reality is heavily dependent on that of others, who are more knowledgeable about what a Christian can or cannot say, about what is biblical and what is not. These differences in degree of familiarity with current discourse and the concomitant dependence on others form the basis for power relationships within a congregation. Those who may be counted among that part of the community which is literally ‘speech-making’, naturally are in a position of greater power than those who have little or no influence on the community ‘speech’ and depend on that created by others. Obviously, the pastor belongs to the category of the speakers. He knows the ins and outs of the discourse valid in the community. Being a theologian,



his training is geared precisely to this, and the whole of his work, moreover, is based on such discourse. Compared to his parishioners, he is far less con­ fronted than they are with the great distance between discourse valid within the congregation and that current in society. Compared to the pastor, the ‘professional’, the churchmembers are but amateurs—which does not mean that one is well-advised to underestimate them . Every parish or congregation harbours a greater or smaller number of members who are very much at home in current authoritative discourse and derive a certain amount of power from their proficiency, the more so to the measure that such discourse develops in a progressive direction and its social-critical content expands. While theological argumentation presupposes specific expertise, a far larger number of people are well-informed on matters of social criticism. Consequently, a good many progressive parishes manifest a shift in the balance of power in favour of those members who ‘know* what ails today’s society and economy. In this perspective of analysis, in which familiarity with the discourse counts as the most important source of power, one can picture how a church com­ munity can develop into a social-critical parish. I start from a recurrent situa­ tion in which the congregation is faced with certain choices. These alterna­ tives can refer to the worship service, to the organizational structure of the parish or to activities engaged in within the congregation or outside. Matters such as these are communicated and debated in a variety of relationships. In conversations and discussions those who are most adept at implementing the right discourse are at an advantage. Heavily charged phraseology is a frequent vehicle of conviction. The adept demonstrate, for instance, that a certain choice is inevitable for anyone who would make the way of the Messiah concrete in manifesting solidarity with the poor and the oppressed. Their mastery over authoritative discourse enables them to present insights which others feel are true, though they themselves could never have expressed them so well. These are the ways in which a process of ‘awakening’ or ‘consciousnessraising’ (terms used within the church as well) is promoted. It is a process arising when people begin to see how it ‘really’ is with them and with the truth; when, for instance, they find out what faith ‘really’ implies, what the consequences of being a Christian ‘really’ are, what the ‘real’ structural causes are of the misery encountered everywhere in the world. Discoveries of this kind have a dynamics of their ow n. Every time one arrives at an answer to a question forced upon one, the answer seems to evoke yet another question, clamouring for an answer with equal insistence. This succession of discoveries, occasioning new discoveries e tc ., continues along certain recognizable tracks. Some examples of this ■were given above. The raising of consciousness, the succession of discoveries at which people (read: Christians) arrive only to travel on again—this process is a cultural one. And cultural processes unfold according to the logic inherent in them.



Some members of the congregation find themselves in a difficult position. These are they who disagree with the choices adumbrated in conversation and discussion and who are troubled by the decisions ultimately taken. They are obliged to defend themselves not only against the evident power of certain influential personages but also against the suggestive power of the authori­ tative discourse on which these people’s influence is based. The discourse may hint that their opposition actually arises from the lamentable fact that they are ‘lagging behind*, that they hesitate while others forge ahead coura­ geously. It is not easy to resist suggestions of this sort. In the event, when one feels unable to put one’s misgivings into words of the kind used in current authoritative discourse, one may tend to desist and to conform, be it without inner conviction. On the basis of the above it can be said that each new step taken in the direction of a more outspokenly social-critical Christendom will divide the active core of the parish or congregation into three categories: those who consciously sought to promote this development; those who, in the course of discussions, have become convinced; and those who are not (entirely) con­ vinced, but overruled. The experience within this third category is one of marginalization. Those belonging to it are inclined to interpret the situation as one in which dire warnings go unheeded. Hence, they are faced with the agonizing question of going with the current (as marginalized flotsam and jetsam), or abandoning ship (severing their bonds with the parish). The choice finally made is importantly influenced by two factors. The first of these lies in how the congregation responds to the problem of dissent. Usually a progressive parish exudes an atmosphere of ‘repressive tolerance’. The general attitude is one of inclusiveness. None will be dismissed on ac­ count of his convictions. Everyone's contribution is welcome and will be taken into more or less charitable consideration. Of course, there are choices to be made now and then, and decisions to be taken, and, naturally, it is important that these be the right choices and the correct decisions. Conflict, however, should be avoided whenever possible, and there is always an opportunity for those who have not progressed as far as most to air their views. In fact, it is often emphasized that it is a good thing when dissidents remain active within the congregation (for instance, ‘because we need their criticism’). In this way the moral claim laid upon dissidents to remain loyal is very strong indeed. A decision to leave is frequently not understood; at times it is even seen as a kind of betrayal. In the second place, for those active within the parish, the church commu­ nity often fulfils an important social function. This is where one’s friends and acquaintances are; one is part of a community in which people care about each other. If leaving the congregation is contemplated this datum counts heavily in the cost-benefit analysis. A decision to stay is often taken because the cost of leaving is too high. In effect, the moral and social ties to the



church community make for an important basis of power. The stronger these ties are, the more readily parishioners will participate in matters that command something less than their enthusiasm. This bond, too, contributes to the circumstance that, when power is exerted on the basis of authoritative discourse, it leads to all sorts of contradictory feelings and strivings, sympa­ thies and antipathies, in the face of which people are hard put to find their way.6 Condusioii Concluding my discussion, in the first section, of Asad’s view on the relation between religion and power, I formulated two theses. One concerned the relative autonomy of signification processes, while the other emphasized the importance of systems of meaning and discourse in the context of processes of power. Above, I sought to illustrate these theses by analysing specific mod­ ernization processes within contemporary Protestantism. It is clear, I trust, that my intention was not to study processes of signification in isolation from exercise of power. Especially the section just above has shown the intimate relationship between them. 1 tried to give full weight to the processes of power as they work themselves out within a modern Christian parish. I showed that the development of a new interpretation of the Christian tradition is im­ mediately tied up with processes of power. Social-critical congregations, too, originate and maintain themselves in virtue of the exercise of (a given type of) power alone. We may well ask how this conclusion relates to Asad’s thesis to the effect that religion is to be analysed as a product of power. In this connection it should be kept in mind that the previous analysis left out of consideration the broader context of national denominational organization. Precisely this latter context is most pertinent to an approach such as that of Asad. Adaptation strategy on the part of social-critical Christendom could well be interpreted as an attempt by the religious elite to shore up the threatened social position of the church—and in so doing bolster their own. As noted, Protestant denomi­ national organizations depend on pastors freed for this w ork. These occupy key positions in the production and reproduction of the religious discourse and practice received as authoritative in the church community. This being so, it seems obvious that their ‘product’ is linked to their interest and to the interest of the organization from which they derive their status. The perspec­ tive of analysis propagated by Asad will lead us to note that pastors make use of the logic of cultural processes and of the suggestive power this logic bestows on certain arguments, in order to guide developments in a direction which to them seems right and which safeguards their own position. What they are looking for is a reformulation of the message such that it will possess appealing power. In name of ecumenism, peace or a just society they seek to



join forces with religious and secular movements in order to regain at least some of the power and influence that was lost. It is, therefore, quite feasible to link the rise of a new system of author­ itative religious discourse and practice to attempts on the part of religious elites to safeguard their position as well as they may (although we should do well to realize that this interpretation runs counter to the experience of those concerned).7 This does not mean, however, that this discourse and practice are to be explained as ultimately a product of such (power) striving. In a community of more or less secularized Christians the authoritative status of discourse and practice no longer derives from social power backing it. On the contrary, we saw that the power of the religious elite is based on little more than the power of argument. Arguments are powerful only if they are experienced as credible and relevant, that is to say, only if they fit, somehow, in the implicational logic of cultural processes as outlined above. Although the logic of cultural processes cannot be reduced to the logic of power processes, it remains true that they influence each other markedly. I tried to show that religious discourse and practice is a possible source of power. Conversely, power certainly does influence the course of cultural pro­ cesses. We may note, for instance, that the progressive religious elite often points the implicational logic of cultural processes in a direction supportive of its own position. The introduction, for example, of complicated theological distinctions (‘religion’ is reprehensible, ‘service of G od’ is commendable) or new forms of biblical exegesis (far-fetched to the point that laymen find them inimitable) could be seen as an (unconscious) effort on the part of theologians to secure their position as experts in religious discourse and practice. Such operations, however, remain restricted to definite lim its. While the parishion­ ers need not understand all of it, they must nevertheless be able to feel at home in the discourse and practice which is authoritative among them. If such is not the case they will ultimately stay away and so weaken the pastor’s position. Even if, as I see it, cultural processes possess a logic of their own, and al­ though I believe that social-critical Christendom cannot be viewed exclusively as the product of power struggles by religious elites, the development described above is a reaction to power relationships nonetheless. To be sure, it is less a reaction to relationships of power within the church than it is a reaction to such relationships in the society around it. The problem of the waning credibility and relevance (and the concomitant erosion of authority) of tradi­ tional religious discourse and practice—the problem to which the adaptive strategy by progressive religious elites responds—has been forced upon the churches from without. It is an outcome of cultural and social developments, since long beyond ecclesiastical control, which cause discourses and practices that deny the basic tenets of the Christian tradition to gain authoritative status in the society in which Christians, too, must live. Over against these discourses and practices, Christians who would remain steadfast in faith seek to maintain



a discourse and a practice based on a deviant definition of reality. In this they can hardly rely on the institutional power of churches or Christian or­ ganizations, less so to the degree to which they strayed from the ‘pillar of cloud and fire’ (Ex. 13:22), and exposed themselves to the impersonal forces of secularized society and a ‘demythologized’ world—a society and a reality anchored in intangible, though very real relationships of power. More research is needed for concrete insight into the mechanisms that more or less force expanding groups of Christians to adapt their convictions to the dominant cultural and social structures. In the study of medieval Christendom we should, according to Asad’s analytical perspective, trace the way power produces religion. In studying processes of secularization, then, we should ask how power produces unbelief. Needed is research into power configura­ tions that confer authoritative status to a discourse and practice which render it impossible for Christians to retain conceptions that were self-evident to former generations. Also, we should trace how this status finds continued reaffirmation. This is beyond the scope of the present essay. An inquiry of that kind is certain to be anything but easy. The power which proceeds from the authoritative discourse and practice which exacts the developments analysed above is, at least at first sight, anonymous, impersonal and difficult to localize in specific social groups or personages. The temptation is great to resort to abstract analyses in the manner of Foucault, which, though sugges­ tive, are utterly imperspicuous when one deals with processes on the level of power struggles among concrete configurations of persons and constellations of power that can be indicated clearly. While the power may be intangible, the people are of flesh and blood. While literature in the sociology of religion does contain important impulses to analysis of the broader social context within which the process of secularization occurs, much is still to be done ere the results can be expected to give content to Asad’s perspective on the relation of religion to power—not to mention inquiry that takes into account my proposed amendments to his research programme. Notes 1. Most of this essay was written during the 1985/1986 academic year, when NIAS in Wassenaar provided me with the opportunity to get away from the daily chores in contemporary academic institutions. 2. For that matter, terms like ‘symbols’, ‘systems of meaning’, ‘reality constructions’— in brief: ‘culture*, may be substituted for ‘religion’. 3. ‘Social-critical’ is here meant in a sense akin to Herbert Marcuse’s ‘critical theory of society’ (cf. One-dimensional man, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1%4). 4. As illustrated by the development in liberal (yrijzinnig) Protestantism, formerly an important current in the church, but today nearing extinction in the Netherlands. 5. The term ‘implicational lone’ is in line with the view of culture as developed by Hanson (1975). Hanson advocates an analysis of culture in terms of 'implicational meanings’.



6. As I noted earlier, it is certainly not the case that all progressive congregations choose the way of a radical social-critical Christendom. The discourses unaergjrding the rise of social-critical congregations posses persuasive power only for mem­ bers oriented to the political left. The outcome of the processes discussed here depends in large measure on the social-economic and political composition of the parish. If leftist progressive members lack influence it is they who experience a corresponding process of marginalization. 7. I would place special emphasis on this. In this passage I try to continue Asad’s reasoning as far as possible. One would, however, misapprehend the situation com­ pletely if the search for a new understanding of the gospel on the part of theologians were interpreted as ‘in fact’ motivated by attempts to safeguard their own position. References Asad, T. 1979 Anthropology and the analysis of ideology. Man (NS), vol. 14, pp. 607-27. 1983 Anthropological conceptions of religions: reflections on Geertz. Man (NS), vol. 18, pp. 237—59. Cohen, A. 1974 Two-dimensional man; an essay on the anthropology of power and symbolism in complex societies. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Drummond, L. 1980 Tlie analysis of ideology. Man (NS), vol. 15, pp. 738-9. Geertz, C. 1973 The interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books. Hanson, F A. 1975 Meaning in culture. Londen: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

3 Secular Views and Sacred Vision Sociology of Development and the Significance of Religion in Latin America Joop van Kessel & André Droolers

Reflecting on development is sometimes rather saddening. Unfortunately, a sadder man is not always a wiser one. Reality proves to be more complicated than the paradigms suggested and than their authors could imagine. The Latin-American situation illustrates this. In the past forty years, three models have been introduced in succession: the functionalist model of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA, Spanish: CEPAL), the Marxist-inspired theory of dependence, and the pragmatist model of the Chicago school. None of them has produced substantial results. Of late these models are much criticized. One of the most incisive apprais­ als is by the Chilean sociologist and philosopher Pedro Morandé (1984). To him, the main reason for the, developmental crisis is that the models failed to take into account vital aspects of the Latin-American identity. In the LatinAmerican context, identity is intimately bound up with religion. Each of the models predicts that as development advances, religion will lose significance or even disappear The models are predicated on a largely secular view of development, and have a secularizing propensity in their own right. They rest on concepts that emerged in the North-Atlantic context, where religion was subject to secularization, or so it seemed to the major forms of conven­ tional wisdom. In Latin America, however, religion is not losing influence; on the contrary, it has become more prominent. Due to this European-NorthAmerican bias, the models are not designed to deal with this apparent con­ tradiction . One could not even begin to present a correct appreciation of the relevance of religion and Latin-American identity in general to development in terms of them: the models contain no provision to chart the continent’s past and present. © Free University Press, 1988



While sociologists neglected the study of religion, theologians and other church-related scholars made up for this oversight. New developments within pastoral work and theology, especially the rise, from praxis, of liberation the­ ologies and the presentation of new official church documents at the Second Vatican Council and at continental bishops’ conferences, led to renewed re­ search on religion and, more specifically, to the rehabilitation of popular religion. The fact that many of these studies were conducted within a liberationist perspective made them relevant for the development issue in three ways. First, it became clear that religion is not just an anachronism or an ob­ stacle to development. It is very much alive and may count as an important source of profound social change. Latin-American religion is now seen to be instrumental in power relations, not only in legitimizing the people in power, but also in justifying opposition against certain regimes. Religion may pro­ pose a radically different kind of society. It can be the soul of both alienation and protest. Religion, then, is highly relevant to development. Second, within the liberationist framework the question of development goals was sure to be raised. Except in the case of the dependence model, which not by coincidence had influenced liberation theologians, normative questions of this kind could supposedly be avoided on account of the pre­ dominantly technological character of the models. If development is seen as a technical, economic problem, the discussion gravitates to means and inevi­ tably excludes explicit formulation of general goals. The development process becomes in fact unmanageable. It is subjected to the dominant ideology that has generated the ostensibly purely technical concepts. The models not only deny the cultural past and present of Latin America, but also propose a blind future. Theologians, however, began to raise the issue of the normative, moral aspect of development. Third, the renewed interest in religion restored the link between develop­ ment studies and Latin-American identity, and helped to contextualize the sociology of development. We conclude that a discussion of these issues is relevant if we are to under­ stand the role of religion in development processes. This conclusion entails open acknowledgement of the normative dimensions of development, together with the need for a contextualized approach to development. Since devel­ opment processes are shown to fail if identity, which includes religion, is neglected, a holistic cultural approach proves necessary. This in turn has con­ sequences for the academic study of development. The sociology of develop­ ment cannot do without anthropology, since development, religion and power are very closely interrelated. Moreover, the normative aspect makes us more sensitive to the need for contact with theologians and philosophers. Our discussion begins with a description of the three main paradigms men­ tioned above, in which we pay special attention to their treatment of religion.



In a brief intermezzo we present two cases that illustrate the significance of religion for development. Next, we describe how scholars related to liberation theology have contributed to the study of popular religion. Lastly, we refer to several consequences for the sociology of development. Three secularizing models of modernization A few general observations should be made first. Of each of the three models of development mentioned above it may be said that people in power had dose affinity with them and ample opportunity to implement them. Sociol­ ogists became social engineers, and sociology a form of social technology. Yet, the overall balance does not show a positive result. The paradigms can be criticized in terms of their claimed universal validity. In fact, their appli­ cation contributed to the destruction of Latin-American identity, seen as a stumbling-block on the road to modernization, whether planned by the right or the left. The three models are forms of desarrollismo (developmentism). Morandé (1984, p . 18) defines this as a theory of programmed or induced social change. The theory was elaborated by way of simulation models of social behaviour, which offer alternative projections into the future. Developmentism is about planned social change rather than about society as such. Modernization is not seen as the result of a historical process rooted in a specific culture, but as a technological option. In order to modernize, people have to overcome bothersome obstacles such as certain features of their traditional culture and religion. ‘Modernization’ as such is assumed by the paradigm’s proponents, who seem hardly aware of the fact that the concept, of European origin, nicely matched the US interests on the continent. Tonnies’s distinction between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft (1972) provides an interesting example of a concept coined for local purposes but adopted for universal use. Quite a few scholars overlooked the fact that Tonmes intro­ duced these concepts in his analysis of social change in the Hamburg region at the beginning of this century.1 Abstracted from its historical origin and local context, the distinction was adapted to suit world-wide use. Thus it camc to figure in the Latin-American debate (e.g. Gino Germani 1968,1969).2 Tradi­ tional Latin-American society, underdeveloped and rural, was contrasted with modem, developed urban and industrial society. In this bipolar model, the modern pole dictates its programme to the traditional pole. The latter, which is where Latin-American identity can best be discovered in its historical and cultural dimensions, is doomed to disappear. Since it is seen as an obstacle to development, its demise is encouraged rather than lamented. In the 1930s, the founding fathers of Latin-Amencan sociology, such as the ‘nationalists’ Mariátegui, Vasconcelos and Eyzaguirre,3 had stressed the importance of the traditional pole for a historically-rooted form of change. The new approach is



non-historie or even anti-historic. People are simply assumed to move to the modem pole. Using Parsons and his taxonomy of modem society as a guide, Germani developed a modernization paradigm for the sociological planner’s use. Implicit Neo-Enlightenment rationalism was included in the package. Development is a matter of rational control. Ever since La tin-American modernization sociology became based on this second-hand model that ignored the specific historical dimensions of the con­ tinent, the sociology of development has estranged itself from the people it was supposed to be studying. Let us look at each of the three models in some detail (Morande 1984, pp. 50-56), paying particular attention to assertions regarding religion. As a matter of fact, one only rarely finds such references. If discussed at all, religion is usually placed in the context of a reference to secularization. The first school, applied functionalism, coincided with post-war populism. It was largely developed in the UN-sponsored ECLA/CEPAL (CEPAL 1969; Prebisch 1964) and in the 1960s it was a tool of the American-supported Al­ liance for Progress. The founding fathers of Latin-American sociology were criticized as ‘pre-scientific’ by some of the authors associated with this school. The agenda of the functionalists was technical: demographic control, the cam­ paign against illiteracy, rural-urban migration, the integration of the campe­ sino into the modem sector, the change from paternalist to impersonal author­ ity. This agenda concorded with the objectives of populist politicians. The aim of sociologists such as R. Vekemans and R . Prebisch was to contribute to policies designed to produce an integrated modernized society. There was a great deal of optimism, both on the sociological and on the political level. The fact that people did not behave according to the predictions of the sec­ ularization model was of secondary importance. Religion was thought to be functional in the transition phase, in which people were expected to adapt to urban life—either that or live in misery and die in peace. Upon completion of this phase religion would disappear from the public sphere. This first phase in the devdopmentist cycle was followed by that of the sociología comprometida, ‘committed’ sociology. It strongly criticized the func­ tionalist school. Its spokesmen, such as A .G . Frank and F .H . Cardoso, developed the theory of dependence (Cardoso 1967; Cardoso & Faletto 1969; Frank 1969). Over against the supposed neutrality of the functionalists, they worked from a class perspective and tried to construct a bridge between the intellectual elite and the ordinary people. The objectives of modernization were not questioned; the capitalist development model was substituted by a Marxist one, in which the means of production were to come in the hands of the people, represented by the socialist state. Development meant eman­ cipation and equal access to resources. As before, sociologists were directly linked to the political scene. Although claiming to have the people’s interest at heart, they too failed to discern the importance of the people’s cultural



identity for development policies. Their interest in popular religion extended to the popular, not to religion. Religion was seen as a counter-point in the revolutionary process. It was reduced to folklore. Like the functionalists, the ‘committed’ scholars did not study religion for its intrinsic value. The cultural ethos of the people had to be demythologized by intensive consciousnessraising campaigns. After the coup against Allende in 1973, the dependence model lost much of its influence on the continent. The third model of desarrollismo was generated by the ‘pragmatists’, who criticized dependence theory for its extreme politicizing and for its incapac­ ity to produce an effective development policy. The alternative was a ‘nononsense’ technocratic approach, inspired by the economic methods of the Chicago school. Development meant the efficient use of scarce resources. The market was supposed to be self-regulating. Economic liberalism was adopted. Unlike the dependence theorists, the pragmatists once again focussed on the means of development rather than on the goals. The result was an everstronger integration into the economic, cultural and ideological system of the United States. The people who prospered by this model were presented as proof of its efficacy, but the incalculable cost in terms of poverty-stricken lives was forgotten.4 Technocracy thus hid its true ideological face behind a ‘value-free’ m ask. There was no room in this model for an authentic LatinAmerican cultural ethos and religion had no public role to play. It was to be privatized and could even be accorded a degree of prestige, as a symbol of the freedom to make one’s own private choices. The school was confronted with a dilemma when the military governments that applied its ideas fell into disrepute because of their lack of respect for human rights. Moreover, the economic measures were counterproductive, since they led to huge foreign debts and structural unemployment. In each of the three models, religion is viewed as long due to undergo a process of secularization. In general, cultural ethos and values do not receive much attention. They are reduced to the function assigned to them in the transition to modem society. Morande (1984, p. 130) concludes that post-war LatinAmerican social science is the progeny of Enlightenment and secularization, ill-equipped to perceive or understand a culture that has stubbornly refused to abandon its identity as constructed within the social boundaries of religion. He adds that only Catholic theology has rediscovered the social importance of religion. In consequence of this the official church reconsidered its former absolute rejection of the people’s religion. This has led to a renewed interest within the social sciences in the theme of religion and, beyond this, in the role of historical and cultural identity within an authentic process of modernization and development.



Intermezzo: two cases We will briefly describe two cases from our own research, which illustrate the active role religion plays in Latin-American development. The cases are complementary in that one stresses initiatives by the people and the other shows the role played by the clergy. Both of them make it clear that religion is not disappearing, but is being used creatively to promote emancipation and social change. Rather than being a barrier to change, tradition is instrumental in it. The first case is that of the bailes religiosos, the religious dance groups, of northern Chile (Van Kessel 1980, 1987 and forthcoming; Van Kessel A Tennekes 1984). These groups are typical of popular Catholicism in the ur­ ban neighbourhoods of this mining region. There are several hundred groups with a total of some 12,000 members. The central activity is a pilgrimage to the fiesta at one of the rural shrines in the region: La Tirana, Las Peñas and Ayquina. The liturgical cycle starts, however, six months before the festivity and ends a month after i t . Essentially the cult, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, consists of the fulfilment of sacred pledges, mandas, through the preparation and execution of extended and exhausting dance processions, in which the mestizo syncretism comes to the fore. In the past few decades, these religious groups have grown in number and gained considerable political influence. The dance groups are organized in three federations and twelve associations. This kind of organization was copied from the miners’ trade unions, which have a history of more than a century of labour conflicts and emancipatory activities. In fact, the dancers belong to the upper layers of the working class, and in general actively par­ ticipate in social and political organizations. They are well-educated and earn good salaries. Though thoroughly modernized, they commit themselves to the bailes for at least three years and invest a great deal of time, money and energy in the preparations for the festivities. Their vows are of a religious nature and are taken very seriously. They do all this despite the middle-class opinion, especially strong in the 1960s but still voiced today, that the dancers are primitive, promiscuous, backward and alcoholics, in short, a disgrace to modern man. Recently, the leaders of the dance groups have succeeded in improving this image and in establishing more normal relations with civil and ecclesiasti­ cal authorities. Under the populist governments of Frei and Allende, they made strategic use of the possibilities for emancipation, but even within the small margins the present regime allows, they have been able to manoeuvre. The church’s attitude towards the groups changed from toleration of their syncretism to formal recognition and ultimately to granting them canonical status. This greatly helped them survive under the harsh political conditions (they were officially banned for some months).



The price paid for church protection is the acceptance of greater influence on the part of counselling priests. The dance groups had been able to form what might be called a popular religious regime,5 as opposed to the official regime of the church; now they had to allow for more control by the ecclesiastical authorities. Through the dance groups people experience strong moral support and re­ create their cultural identity, which indirectly legitimizes their political protests and emancipatory efforts. The second case derives from the interior of the state of Espirito Santo in Brazil.6 Since the beginning of the 1970s, Lutheran pastors have under­ taken consciousness-raising activities in their parishes. They were the first Brazilian Lutheran pastors in the region. When they took over from their German predecessors, pastoral work changed fundamentally. These young pastors were deeply influenced by liberation theology and by the work of Paulo Freire (1970). Despite the right-wing military regime of the period, and amidst booming economic development with its many mixed blessings, they started to teach to church members the principles of a just society. Following the example of the Catholic ecclesiastical basic communities, they organized groups and trained leaders. They promoted a new type of faith, in which God was no longer depicted as a personal God who rewards and punishes, but os the liberator of the people, who suffers with them and leads them in the struggle for a just society. Affliction is man-made rather than heaven­ sent. Although they took the initiative themselves, making use of renewed theological insights, the pastors’ goal was to make their flock politically more active and aware. The new approach to pastoral work first led to changes in church politics. Ever since the church began its work in the region, the local economic and political elite had faithfully been re-elected to the church councils. In the 1970s, however, church members from the middle class and, more rarely, from the lower class, replaced them. In general, the members of the parishes became more sensitive to the injus­ tice of local situations. Criticism of the elite was voiced, first by the pastors, later by members as well. Though not all members internalized this discourse, a growing minority learned how to address themselves to such problems as land taxes, the situation of tenant farmers, local money-lending and land reform. The economic growth of the central town in the district made the contrast between the wealthy and the poor more pronounced. Thus the dis­ cussion about a just society began with the reality of the local situation. When elections were held in 1982, at the end of the military regime, the local elite’s candidate for district mayor lost the election, which marked the end of the traditional hegemony at that level as well. The winner was openly or tacitly supported by the pastors and, during his campaign, had visited several



of the church’s groups. Once in office, however, the new mayor had to reckon with the critical interest of these same pastors. Although the power of the elite on the political level has been undermined, they remain stronger than ever economically. Besides, it is uncertain what will happen at the next local elections. Among the pastors themselves, differences of opinion have put an end to their operating as a team. Yet, their work of the past fifteen years has made it clear that religion can be a force towards change and can provide an alternative definition of society. Liberationist views on popular religion When Mary Douglas criticized modernization sociologists for not having fore­ seen the recent religious revival in various parts of the world, one of her examples was taken from Latin America: ‘Habituated as we are to Catholic bishops supporting reactionary forces in South America, who was ready to interpret their radical politics in other parts of that continent?* (Douglas 1982, p . 1). Certainly not the authors of the generalized development models, whose paradigms were inspired by western ethnocentric views on secularizing society and its advantages for economic development. Unfortunately, established Latin-American sociologists themselves did not call attention to these shortcomings. As Rubem Alves (1979) has shown, at least for the Brazilian situation, studies in the sociology of religion were seldom initiated in the sociology departments of the universities. These de­ partments leaned on western paradigms and consequently tended to neglect religion. Besides, the relative separation between church and state dimin­ ished interest in religion, and religion was supposed to be losing influence anyway. Despite all its differences, the Marxist reaction to functionalist developmentism produced a strikingly similar, negative view on religion. On the whole, the social sciences failed to grasp the importance of religion in modern Latin-American society. This lack of interest was compensated for by scholars, many of whom had a theological or at least a church background, who took renewed academic interest in religion. This sometimes happened because of negative personal experiences with the hierarchy of their church, as in the case of married priests or excommunicated pastors, which made them reflect on the social mechanisms at work. More important, however, was the theological reorientation formu­ lated by the Second Vatican Council and by liberation theologies. As pas­ toral agents, many of the pastors and priests had an existential and not just a functional contact with the lower classes of society. They knew the poor man’s burdens from personal observation. Without having been train«! as anthropologists, they combined field work and pastoral work. They tried to transcend the social boundaries that separated the clergy from the laity. They did not worry about interdisciplinary boundaries or other academic niceties.



They simply invaded the social sciences’ field and, in the long run, conquered their own legitimate space and even influenced sociologists of the dependence school. Some of the regular social scientists frowned upon the arrival of the new­ comers, as they proceeded in rather unorthodox ways. They wanted to study ‘reality*, but also had visionary ideals about how that reality was to be trans­ formed. They sought to mobilize the moral and spiritual energy of the people for the purpose of emancipatory processes. They did not just study their topics with the customarily required distance and objectivity, but advocated ‘committed’ forms of research. Academic work was to become an intrinsic part of transformation processes. After Vaticanum II the church rediscovered the people and the world in which they live. Accordingly, researchers were to live with the people and share their powerlessness, their lack of fundamental human rights and their struggle for survival. Ecclesiastical scholars turned into sociological researchers with pastoral and political aims. Most of these new sociologists and anthropologists of religion adopted the dependence theory, and it was not uncommon for them to adopt it in its more vulgar versions.7 The Marxist critique of religion, however, was transformed. These social scientists did not predict the end of religion, but advocated a re­ ligion that was socially and politically more effective. Religion as protest, the often-forgotten other side of the Marxist perception of religion, was empha­ sized . Of course, part of the discourse of these authors was wishful thinking and ventriloquism trying to act as the people’s spokesman, putting into their mouth what the researchers viewed as liberating. Yet one should not under­ estimate the self-fulfilling effect of their work, since they did not primarily write for an academic audience, but often provoked feedback to their studies among their constituencies. Hence their work is important if one is to answer the question as to the roles religion plays in development processes in Latin America. In this tradition, religion was first and foremost popular religiosity or, put less pejoratively, popular religion or the religion of the people .8 There is some confusion about the exact meaning of the word ‘people’. Popular religiousness is, in fact, a residual category. It is defined in relation to official religious­ ness. ‘People’ thus refers to the non-clergy, the laity. A more encompassing conception, however, identifies people with the nation. Yet, almost without exception, the term is used with reference to the lower classes. In progressive jargon it has romantic or populist connotations. Several authors published more or less similar typologies of the various ap­ proaches and interpretations of popular religion prevalent in the past decades (Schuurman 1977, 1980; Galilea 1980; Richards 1981; Ribeiro 1984; Parker 1986). The approaches fall into one of two categories. The one condemns popular religion, the other in some way tries to rehabilitate it. Examples of the first category are the traditional Catholic view of popular religion as



syncretist superstition and ignorance, and the orthodox Marxist view, found in the beginnings of liberation theology, of popular religion as a form of aliena­ tion . Both opinions are still heard, but in the meantime other more positive views have come forward. The authors who propose to rehabilitate popular religion place their em­ phasis in three different, not necessarily incompatible ways. Some stress the importance of the people’s religion for the enculturation of the Christian faith and for the Latin-American identity of the people. This might be called the cultural approach. The second emphasis is on popular religion as a way of discovering meaning in suffering and misery. This might be called the pas­ toral approach. The third emphasis is political; recognizing a fundamental ambiguity between religious alienation and protest, this approach seeks to mobilize protest and refers to the historical dimension of popular religion as a reaction to the imposition of the Catholic faith within a context of political domination. These new approaches to popular religion have found their way into the official documents of the Latin-American Catholic Church. In particular, the bishops’ conferences in Medellin (1968) and Puebla (1979) have incor­ porated these views into their statements. 10The initial strategy of a small avant garde became an official attitude couched in diplomatic language: continued criticism and simultaneous rehabilitation of popular religion. Syncretism was no longer a purely negative term and the church came to recognize its own syncretism (Boff 1977; Hoomaert 1977; Marzal 1985). Richard (1981, pp. 16-21) notes a recent development. The main role in popular religion is no longer given to the sociologist, the theologian, the pas­ toral agent or the politician, but to the people themselves. This is a radical alteration with wide repercussions. The clergy no longer has the monopoly of teaching, but must be ready to be taught and even evangelized by the people. The teacher becomes the pupil’s pupil, the pupil assumes the role of the teacher’s teacher. Exegetes allow themselves to be inspired by the newlyemerging reading of the Bible, a reading in which poverty is the key to the understanding of the text. It is not clear what role the clergy is supposed to play in this reappropriation of faith and in the activation of the revolu­ tionary potential of popular religion. In the next section we return to this question. Yet, compared to the ventriloquism mentioned above, this further rehabilitation of the common people as subjects of their own religiousness and history is an important development. It puts into perspective the con­ ventional paradigms that treat people as objects of supposed mechanisms of social change, be they ‘beneficiary’ or ‘exploitative’ . Theologians, then, compensated for what the sociologists of development failed to d o . In the process, they tried to understand the importance of popular religion and introduced the broader framework of the liberationist perspec­ tive. In doing so they embarked upon a specific development project and



stressed the necessity of a definition of development that included goals and not means only. Their work turned development into a moral category. Towards a contextual, normative and interdisciplinary approach What conclusions can be drawn from the above discussion of development models and the more recent theological-sociological contributions? As stated in the introduction, we emphasize three aspects: the significance of religion for development, the normative nature of development, and the necessity of an integration of exclusively sociological approaches and non-sociological ap­ proaches to development. Since the continent is vast and the religious field dynamic and differentiated, it seems hazardous to make any systematic comment on the role religion plays in development processes. Yet, starting from the new emphasis on people as subjects of their religion, history and development, a general observation can be made. If people are no longer viewed as merely passive objects of the actions of others, but are recognized as subjects, they are defined as ‘meaningmakers’ (Crick 1976). If motivation and identity are recognized as central notions in the development process, the symbolic-anthropological perspective, which stresses this view, becomes very promising (for similar recommenda­ tions, see Schoorl & Venema 1984, p. 93). If the development process must be based on the people’s firm conviction that this is the way to go, then mean­ ing is an important notion indeed. Religion is of capital significance in this context; as its cultural ethos it can reflect development, or shape and orient it (Maduro 1982). In the liberationist practice of the churches, one may find examples of how the symbols of popular religion inspire action. Traditional forms of re­ ligiousness and stories from the Bible are attributed with new meanings in a liberationist discourse. The ‘exodus’ and ‘exile’ themes, for example, are widely explored, and current practices are compared to the slavery and depen­ dence of the Jews in Egypt or Babylonia. The symbolism of ‘being on the way’ comes to expression in the romarias or pilgrimages and in the Holy Week’s stations of the cross, commemorating Christ’s suffering, but also indirectly in the organization of popular movements. The suffering of Christ is linked to the suffering of the people. His resurrection is a symbol of the msurrection of the poor. In the present Brazilian land occupations, a huge wooden cross is clothed with the bedsheets of children who have died of their afflictions, symbolizing the clothes of Christ as reference to his rising and to the renewal of life. The symbol receives new, poignant meaning. If people are rehabilitated as subjects, the question of the role to be played by the priests and pastors becomes urgent. The Gramscian notion of the or­ ganic intellectual is often used in discussions on this problem. Though he belongs to a given class, the intellectual unconditionally puts himself at the



service of another class. Some authors note that it is difficult, if not impos­ sible, for the clergy to deny its class, education, language, clothing, housing e tc .11 What is left is what one might call a suggestive method, in which the pastor poses the right questions, hoping that the people will give the right answers, not manipulated by the agent, but of their own accord. Of course, the construction of meaning is not the only aspect of liberationist practice that shows the importance of religion to development. The offi­ cial church is still an important factor, despite the formal separation between church and state. It can lobby among politicians in order to reach certain goals. It is jokingly said in Brazil that there are only two ‘real’ political parties: the army and the church. This is of course an exaggeration, but it shows that the church is viewed as a significant factor. In the past this meant that, except for conflict situations, it legitimized conservative policies. Nowadays the church speaks much more in favour of the poor. It is difficult, though, to evaluate its real influence.12 On the local level one finds the liberationist perspective at work, inspired and nourished by the basic communities. The influence of popular religion is strong, and efforts are made to mobilize its potential for social change. It is not clear how the roles of the communities’ members are linked to the co­ ordinating work done by the priests. Although Catholicism is the main religion throughout the continent, one should not forget the others. Here again we must refer to the semantic po­ tential of these religions, even in cases where they are known for their non­ political views. The growing Pentecostal churches are, almost without excep­ tion, well-known supporters of military regimes; nevertheless, their message can carry the seeds of a more progressive attitude. In some cases, this has become clear, e .g . in some of the Chilean churches where young pastors adopted the liberationist discourse. One should not underestimate the effect of the social mobility of Pentecostals on definitions of development. The recent growth of evangelical minorities, often inspired by missionaries from the United States, is another religious phenomenon with consequences for development. From the viewpoint of the third paradigm we discussed, the pragmatist Chicago school, this type of privatized faith, consciously abstaining from political activity, is typical of the role attributed to religion in modern society. It has led to accusations of CIA involvement in the promotion of these forms of Christianity, since they happen to be surprisingly congenial to US interests. Again, we might say that within a semantic view, once the potential for change is discovered in the Christian message, these groups can prove to be a Trojan horse. Some of the evangelical groups within the established Protestant churches are already exploring this dimension. Comparable potentialities can be found in the various forms of Brazilian spiritism. Known for their accommodation and extremely low potential for emancipatory change, they may nevertheless surprise us. If, for example,



adepts of candombli and umbanda come to believe that the pollution of the sea and the deforestation of the Amazon region could provoke the wrath of the gods of the sea and the forest, Iemanja and Oxossi, this religion might become a political factor, influencing views on development. Religion is one of the well-springs of identity form ation. It provides some of the dreams people like to dream about their life and their future. In or­ der to understand the importance of religion for identity, and of identity for emancipation and development, it is helpful to distinguish between a positive and a negative identity consciousness. In the latter case, persons or categories tend to hide their true identity, because they feel stigmatized. They try to adopt another identity, a socially more respectable one. In Latin America, this is the fate of many Indians and Mestizos. If, however, there is a positive consciousness of identity, people are proud to be what they are and to belong to their group. Even the beginning of positive identity can motivate a group to establish, if need be by way of conflict, a more formal and firm position, through recognition by tin; authorities, by public opinion and by other groups in society. They try to organize themselves and seek links with similar groups. As we have seen, this happened to the dance groups of northern Chile. They moved away from the negative identity pole towards the positive one. They succeeded in emancipating themselves and obtaining more power and pres­ tige. Basic communities provide another example. In either case, religion has been instrumental in defining the group’s identity and has contributed to the people’s emancipation. Both examples show that these groups can formulate their own image of an acceptable society; in other words, they can express their own views of development. With regard to contextualized development, we can conclude that if people become the authors of their own development, religion can furnish the arsenal of meanings for their definition of identity, emancipation and development. On a small scale, this is already happening in some church-sponsored projects, but it is certainly not illusory to expect more to happen in the future. In or­ der to survive,13 development models must allow for religion as an influential factor. In doing so, they become more rooted in the Latin-American context. If, in recent years, the object of development has been discovered to be in truth a subject, the reversal will not fail to affect the supposed subject of development, the developer. Here we touch upon the second aspect men­ tioned above, the normative dimension of development. The sociologist of development should become an object of the reflection on development, espe­ cially as far as his supposed value-free views are concerned. Interestingly, the same model of human beings as meaning-makers can also be of use here. Sociologists of development, in opting for a certain model, stand, as we have seen, in a tradition linked to the history of European thought. This means that they are rooted in a specific context of meaning-making, and thus in the construction and legitimizing of a specific type of society. Their ‘technical’



views cannot be separated from this context. The suggestion that generalized models of development tell us more about the ‘developers’ than about devel­ opment itself is instructive (De Alcántara 1984, p. 178). An author’s view on the role of religion in modernization processes and on the future of religion is not just a technical detail, it shows his own convictions and preferences for a specific type of ‘developed’ society. He is active as a meaning-maker and makes ideological and moral choices. He might regard the religions of the developing societies as competing factors in the creation of a better soci­ ety. In this respect, secularized views do not differ from religious ones. This suggests that instead of the usual invisibility of the developer's personal op­ tions, such options should be made explicit and brought out inio the open for discussion. The often implicit normativity of the social sciences will remain underdeveloped unless these implicit meanings are openly debated. A new contextualized approach to development and a more open discussion of the normative issues has consequences for the sociology of development as an academic endeavour. There is a great need of interdisciplinary contact. If the role of religion is taken seriously, anthropologists and sociologists of religion, symbolic anthropologists and scholars in the field of comparative religion should all participate in the debate on development Moreover, if the normative side of the problem is to be made more explicit, there is in the Latin-American context a necessity for co-operation with theologians, philosophers and political scientists. A greater awareness of the non-economic factors in development processes might thus evolve. Breaks with the past can be avoided, and projects can be rooted in the history of the people. The options of different kinds of development will become visible and can be debated. In this context the effect of the development of the liberation perspective on theology is instructive. The traditional, objectifying theological method was transcended, since praxis and engagement, too, counted as legitimate and scientific starting-points for reflection. The armchair theologian was re­ placed by the field-oriented, pastorally-involved theologian. This engendered the need for consulting the social sciences and led to an interdisciplinary ap­ proach. Moreover, various theologians invaded the field of the sociology of religion, in a way occupying the academic space the sociologists had failed to spot. They amended the dependence model by stressing the importance of religion for development. They thus not only used the social sciences, but also contributed to them. In doing so, liberation theology became a socially and culturally contextualized form of theology. Partly inspired by North-Atlantic theologians as it may be, it is still Latin-American. Its efforts have become exemplary to theologians elsewhere. The universal pretensions of European theology were unmasked and shown to be contextual in much the same way.



One might wish something comparable would happen to the Latin-American sociology of development. Throughout the continent, the theologians’ lesson pertaining to contextualization, the inevitably normative dimensions of models of development and the need for interdisciplinary approaches should be taken to heart. Thus a responsible and effective sociology of development will be able to emerge. Acknowledgements The authors are grateful to Philip Quarles van Ufford for his stimulating comments, and to Sheila Gogol for editorial advice. Notes 1. The following questions may be asked when reviewing a model: Which presuppo­ sitions determine the selection of features? To which structure in society does the model give special attention, and which structures are neglected? Is the frame of reference practical or cultural reason? What place is given to informants’ models? Are the model and the modelled of the same or of a (Efferent nature? Is the model about genesis or about persistence? Does the model have a general or a specific orián and claim? In which phase of the scientific process may the model be used and which function does it accordingly have?* (Droogers 1985, p. 110). 2. With regard to modernizing urbanization, Germani (1969, p. 150) says that it ‘supone el surgimento de valores y de una estructura social que modifica sustan­ cialmente la cultura rural y tradicional. Se trata precisamente del proceso de secularización, el cual constituye el cambio básico, condición necesaria (aunque no suficiente) del surgimiento de la sociedad moderna-industrial. ’ Translation: *it supposes the rise of values and of a social structure that substantially modify the rural and traditional culture. This refers precisely to the secularization process, which constitutes the basic change, the necessary (though not sufficient) condition for the rise of modern industrial society.’ 3. A typical example is Mariátegui’s best-known book. Seven Essays on the Interpre­ tation of Peruvian Reality, first published in 1928. It consistently offers historical analyses of Peruvian society. One of the essays is entitled ‘El factor religioso’ (Mariáteeui 1968, pp. 129-153). 4. On this tneme: Beraer 1976. With reference to the Chicago school: Hinkelammert 1983, pp . 97-121. 5. For the concept of religious regime, see Bax 1987. 6. Research is still in progress For a first result, see Droogers 1984. 7. For a critical but loyal analysis, see Dodson 1979. Liberation theologians have recently become more independent with regard to the dependence theory. 8. See, for example, Frei Betto’s comment: Popular religiosity ‘soa come se a religiáo do povo fosse urna coisa de secunda categoría. Um “sábio” poden a dizer: “mas a religiáo do povo está cheia de supersti^ao. Por isso a gente chama de religiosidade” . Ora, tem muito doutor por aique é cristao e acredita no valor sagrado da propriedade privada, em horoscopo, em mulher que lé máo. . . no entanto, ninguém diz: “a religiosidade dos intelectuais, ou dos ricos, ou dos padres”.’ Translation: ‘sounds as if a religion of the people were a second class thing. A “wise man” might say: “But the religion of the people is full of superstition. Therefore one calls it religiosity”. Well, there’s many a doctor around who is a



9. 10.

11. 12. 13.

Christian and who believes in the sacred value of private property, in the horo­ scope, in women reading the hand. . . yet, nobody says: the religiosity of the intellectuals, or of the rich, or of the priests".’ (Betto 1980, p. 50). This change in terms also accompanies a trend stressing the social significance of popular rcüeion, an aspect the more individual connotation of ‘religiosity’ does not express sufficiently. Current sceptical views on popular religion can be found in Chacón 1984, Croatto 1986, Perani 1974 and Segundo 1974, p. 79, p. 130. Sec also Ribeiro 1984, pp. 158-160. Some examples from the final document of the Puebla conference: The religious­ ness of the people is essentially a wealth of values which, with Christian wisdom, give answers to the great questions of life.’ \ . .the religiousness of the LatinAmerican people frequently takes the form of a cry for real liberation. ’ ‘Popular piety leads to love to God and to the people, ana helps the people and peoples to become conscious of their responsibility to bring about their own destiny.’ (Puebla 1980, pp. 448, 452, 935). Demo (1983, pp. 138-140) offers a critical analysis of the use of the concept of organic intellectual by pastoral workers. See for a recent discussion Bruneau, Gabriel & Mooney 1984, pp. 1-12. On the Brazilian situation: Kleinpenmng 1987. From an eclectic point of view (Droogers 1985), models will not disappear just be­ cause they are strongly criticized or are replaced by other paradigms. One should recycle them and see what is left of value after a cross-paradigmatic confronta­ tion. Even if ideological gaps remain, we should not contribute to the custom of waste-making in social science theory. For similar views, see Hoogvelt 1978, p. 67, pp. 113—114.

References Alcántara, Cynthia Hewitt de 1984 Anthropological perspectives on rural Mexico. London: Roulledge & Kegan Paul. Alves, Rubem A. 1979 Le retour du sacre. Les chemins de la sociologie de la religion au Brésil. Archives de Sciences Soaales des Religions, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 23-51. Bax, Mart 1987 Religious retimes and state formation: towards a research perspective. An­ thropological Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 1-11. Berger, Peter L. 1976 Pyramids of sacrifice: political ethics and social change. Garden City: Anchor Press. Betto, Frei 1980 Puebla para o povo. Petrópolis: Vozes. Boff, Leonardo 1977 Avalia$ao teológico-crítica do sincretismo. Vozes, vol. 71, no. 7, pp. 573-588. Bruneau, Thomas C , Chester E. Gabriel & Mary Mooney (eds.) 1984 The Catholic Church and religions in Latin America. McGill University: Centre for Developing-Area Studies. Cardoso, F. 1967 Agentes de cambio y conservación en América Latina. Lima.



Cardoso, F. A E. Faletto 1969 Dependencia y desarrollo en América Latina. México: Siglo 21. CEPAL 1969 El pensamiento de la CEPAL. Santiago: Editorial Universitaria. Chacón, Arturo 1984 Religiosidad popular y movimiento social en Chile. Los Cristianos Evan­ gélicos: un estudio de casos. In: Primer Congresso Chileno de Sociologia, Materiales para la discussión, Tomo 1, pp. 21—33. Crick, Malcolm 1976 Explorations in language and meaning: towards a semantic anthropology. Lon­ don: Malaby Press. Croatto, J. Severino 1986 Religiáo popular: tentativa de eouadonamento do problema. Estudos de Retigiào, vol. I, no. 3, pp. 101—110. Demo, Pedro 1983 Sociologia, urna introduco critica. Sao Paulo: Atlas. Dodson, Michael 1979 Liberation theology and Christian radicalism in contemporary Latin Amer­ ica. Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 203—222. Douglas, Mary 1982 The effects of modernization on religious change. Daedalus, voi. 111, no. 1, pp. 1-20. Droogers, André 1984 Retigiosidade Popular Luterana. Sao Leopoldo: Editora Sinodal. 1985 From waste-maxing to recycling: a plea for an eclectic use of models in the studv of religious change. In Wim van Binsbergen & Matthew Schoffcleers (eds), Theoretical explorations in African religion. London etc. : KPI, pp. 101-137. Frank, Andre Gunder 1969 Latin America: underdevelopment or revolution, essavs on the development of underdevelopment and the immediate enemy. New York/London: MR. Freire, Paulo 1970 Pedagogy o f the oppressed. New York: Seabury Press. Galilea, Segundo 1980 O debate sobre a religiosidade popular na teologia da libertario LatinoAmericano. Concilium, vol. 80, no. 6, pp. 52-59. Germani, G. 1968 Politica v sociedad en una época de transición: de ¡a sociedad tradicional a la sociedad de masas. Buenos Aires. 1969 Sociologia de la modernización: estudios teóricos, metodológicosy aplicados en América Latina. Buenos Aires: Paidos. Hinkelammert, Franz 1983 As armas ideológicas da morie. Sao Paulo: Paulinas. Hoogyelt, Ankie M. M. 19/8 The sociology of developing societies. London: Macmillan. Hoornaert, Eduardo 1977 Pressupostos antropológicos para a compreensáo do sincretismo. Vozes, vol. 71, no. 7, pp. 563-572. Kessel, J. van 1980 Danseurs dans le désert, une étude de dynamique sociale. Den Haag: Mouton.




De 12000 dansers van de Maagd'; volksmystiek en politick protest in Noord Chili. Amsterdam: VU Uitgeverij. 1988 Autochtone gezondheidszorg in de Andes. Forthcoming. Kessel, Joop van & Hans Tennekes 1984 Priesters en pelgrims: veranderende machtsconstellatie rond de bedevaarten in Noord Chili. Antropologische Verkenningen, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 137-157. Kleinpenning, J. M.G . 1987 Besta&nsstrijd en kerkelijke actie in Braziliè. ln: Solidair met wie en waarom? Christenen op zoek naar vormen van solidariteit met de Derde Wereld. Nijmegen/’s-Hcrtogenbosch: Stichting Gezamenlijke Missiepublidteit/Katholiek Studiecentrum, pp. 41-64. Maduro, Otto 1982 Religion and social conflicts. New York: Orbis. Mariátegui, José Carlos 1968 7 Ensayos de interpretación de la realidadperuana. Lima: Biblioteca Amauta [13th edn., lstedn. 1928 ] Marzal, Manuel M. 1985 El sincretismo iberoamericano; un estudio comparativo sobre ¡os quechwas (Cusco), los mayas (Chiapas) y los africanos (Bakia). Lima: PUC. Morandé, Pedro 1984 Cultura y modernización en América Latina: ensayo sociológico acerca de la crisis del desarrolismoy de su superación. Santiago de Chile: Cuadernos del Instituto de Sociologia, Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile. Parker, Christián 1986 Volksgodsdienst en protest legen onderdrukking. Het voorbeeid van Chili. Concilium, vol. 86, no. 4, pp. 28—34. Perani, Cláudio 1974 Relieiosidade popular e mudanza social. Cademos do CEAS, no. 30, pp. 6 5 -/3 . Prebisch, Raul 1964 Hacia una dinámica del desarrollo latinoamericano. México: Fondo de Cul­ tura Económica. Puebla 1980 Slotdocument van de derde algemene vergadering van het Latijns-Amerikaans Episcopaat. Archief van de Kerken, vol. 35, dossiemo. 10. Ribeiro, Helcion 1984 Religiosidadepopular na teologia Latino-Americana. Sao Paulo: Paulinas. Richard, Pablo 1981 Relieiosidad popular en Centroamérica. In Pablo Richard & Diego Irarrázavaí. Religión y política en América Central: hacia una nueva interpretación de la religiosidadpopular. San José: Departamento Ecumenico de Investiga­ ciones, pp. 9-34. Schoorl, Pim & Bernard Venema 1984 De modemiseringssociologische stroming. In Frans Hüsken, Dirk Kruijt & Philip Quarles van Ufford (eds ), Trends en tradities in de ontwikkelingssociologie. Muiderberg: Coutinho. Schuurman, L. 1977 Nuances in de bevrijdingstheologie. Wereld en Zending, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 304-318. 1980 Volksreligiositeit in Latijns-Amerika. Wending, vol. 35, no. 2,pp. 116—121.



Segundo, Juan Luis 1974 Our idea o f God. Voi. 3 of A theology for artisans of a new humanity. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1973—4, 5 vols. Tönnies, Ferdinand 1972 Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft: Grundbegriffe der reinen Soziologie. Darm­ stadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

4 Cycles of Concern Dutch Reformed Mission in Central Java, 1896—1970' Philip Quarles van Ufford

The missionary endeavour emanating from Western societies since the close of the nineteenth century provides ample opportunity to place assessment of the impact of religious orthodoxies on foreign cultures in a long-term perspec­ tive. When one does so, one is certain to encounter many a trait held in com­ mon by religious expansion and the enterprise we now call ‘development co­ operation’. To be sure, development co-operation has transformed the mis­ sionary effort. Perhaps, though, continuity outstrips transformation. In fact, it seems as if, save for the distinctively religious or decidedly secular discourse employed, the two might well be one. ‘Cycles of concern’—the metaphor is meant to point up the almost ‘natural' mechanisms operative in religious, c .q . secular undertakings. In the long run these mechanisms—inexorably, it seems—cause missionary and cultural ideals to pale and to lose their rallying power. New orthodoxies arise, only to meet with a similar fate. I would single out two processes in particular as they come to expression in the history of Dutch mission work in Central Java: 1. The gradual dissipation of original goals and values as they are being put into practice. Such dissipation seems inscribed in the progressive segmen­ tation called forth by the very attempts to incorporate the ideals. 2. The inevitable ambiguity of goals and values. Ideals must reflect the ideas of the Dutch constituency. They must, however, be implemented in a for­ eign context. Tension between these two functions—“model o f and ‘model for*—is unavoidable. As I intend to show, major reformulations of mis­ sionary goals and strategies derive from social changes in the western donor country, have little to do with the recipients, and lead to contradiction or at least to ambiguity; their demise is just around the comer. © Free University Press, 1988



Cycles such as these are discernible over a period of a century of shifting relationships between a Protestant church denomination based in the Nether­ lands and Christians living in Central Java. Some 125 years ago, in 1861, Dutch Reformed missionaries were first sent to Central Java. Since that time mission in that area has become a major and cherished task of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands. Many gereformeerden (members of the Dutch Reformed Churches) all but identified ‘missionary work’ in this area with the concrete activities of their own con­ gregation. For most church-going people, missionary responsibility meant something very specific indeed. For those in the church district of Arnhem, for instance, up to 1972 missionary work meant supporting the work of the Reformed Churches in the Purwodadi area in Northeast Central Java, while the gereformeerden of Delft knew that ‘their’ mission was in Solo, one of the principalities of Central Java. The commitment of Reformed church members in the Netherlands to their missionary responsibilities has been unparalleled, both financially and spiritu­ ally. To give a rough indication: a survey of European Protestant missionary organizations at the end of the 1960s showed that the contributions received by Indonesian churches were highest per capita in Central Java. The Re­ formed Church in Central Java received an amount 50 times higher than that given to the church of East Java by a Dutch sister-denomination (Hetvormd), even though the two Javanese churches are comparable in size (approximately 100,000 members). Study of the impact of Reformed thought and action presents some prob­ lems. How are we to approach the connection between missionary thought in the Netherlands and missionary activities in the field? Are missionary activi­ ties the pure precipitate of the principles and goals of mission? There is also the problem of im pact. To what degree can concrete processes of change be attributed to missionary activities? To picture Reformed thought, action and impact as a mere continuum would be entirely erroneous. Reformed thought as discussed below refers to Reformed conceptions of missionary work as propagated and adhered to in the Netherlands. Theolog­ ical concepts of missionary work certainly have operational dimensions, i.e ., they set goals to be achieved. They also have another, symbolic, function. In the Dutch context, they render visible the identity of Reformed mission in contrast to that of other denominations. Thus, a specific public is served by the definition of distinctively Reformed symbols and concepts of missionary work: ordinary church-going people are enabled to perceive missionary goals and conceptions as ‘theirs’. As is the case for any non-profit organization which depends on charitable contributions, a missionary organization must be recognizable and acceptable to its contributors. It must accommodate their views and perceptions. The views underlying missionary goals must therefore



not be too different from the views held by those who support them .2 Socio­ logically, the Reformed nature of the church’s missionary goals is thus a func­ tion of the Dutch Reformed context; the goals do not primarily reflect needs defined in other contexts. Prima facie, then, missionary goals appear to be operational in nature; their primary function, however, is to reflect the views of the Reformed constitu­ ency concerning themselves and their role in the world. Since these goals must reinforce the ‘Reformed’ identity they are bound to be ethnocentric. Mission­ ary goals are of direct interest to those who support them . The more precise they become, the more ethnocentric they must be, i.e ., the less they can be based on an understanding of specific forces which are relevant in another context, such as that of Central Java. Orthodoxy, in the sense that Reformed thought involves certainty as to which specific goals should be achieved in contexts other than the Dutch one, can survive only if it is separated from the concrete activities and consequences it entails. The more it remains aloof from the results of its actions, the better it can perpetuate itself. I began by mentioning the strong religious and financial involvement of Dutch church people in missionary affairs. Commitment profound and wide­ spread . However, as indicated in the comments above, basic paradoxes and contradictions occur due to the dissimilarity of the contexts in which goals are formulated and sought to be achieved. ' My study of Dutch Reformed activities in Central Java convinced me that a basic contradiction exists in Dutch Reformed missionary history. This contra­ diction is related to the concept of ‘missionary church’ held by the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands; they have specific and precise views regarding their own creed and ecclesiology and they have tried to transplant them into a different context. Thisplantatio ecclesiae was initially successful; ultimately, however, it led to a situation in which ordinary church members in Java became alienated from their own official church structures, and resorted to systematic withdrawal of indigenous support. The Dutch orthodoxy, in turn, interpreted this as a refusal to conform or adapt. The tragic consequence of this mutual misunderstanding was the withdrawal of further financial support by the D utch. It seems to me that the failure of the Dutch Reformed Churches to achieve their goal—transplantation of a (Dutch) Reformed Church into a Central-Javanese context—was inevitable, and I will analyse some of the mechanisms in terms of which this failure may be understood. The mission established in isolation (1890—1896) Around 1890, two events took place which were to influence Reformed Chris­ tianity in Central Java for a long time to come. In 1886, a Javanese Christian church, the Golonganè Wong Kristen Kang Mardika, was established by Kyai Sadrach, a Javanese Islamic religious teacher converted to Christianity. By



1890, this church had 6000 members in various congregations, mainly in the southern parts of Central Java. Sadrach was their undisputed leader. Despite some initial difficulties, he was open to co-operation with missionaries who had been sent to Central Java by a private Dutch Reformed missionary society, the Nederlandse Gereformeerde Zendingsvereniging (NGZV). Around 1890, these missionaries were working in Sadrach’s congregations. Accepting Sadrach’s leadership, J. Wilhelm especially was active from 1886—1892 in various kinds of work, e .g ., catechism, baptism, preaching on Sundays and sometimes even harshly correcting views he considered false. This Javanese Christian church was not averse to co-operation with the Reformed missions, especially because the colonial government did not take a positive view of indigenous Christians in Jav a. I analysed this early Javanese church elsewhere (Quarles van Ufford 1980b; see also Guillot 1981). Of interest in the present context is the way its exis­ tence was assessed back in the Netherlands. At the time, there was a wide­ spread movement among gereformeerde Christians aimed at the establishment of an independent Protestant church with various related, secular institutions of Reformed inspiration; together, these were to constitute an interdependent ‘organism’ in Dutch society. Reformed Christians in the Netherlands were involved in an emancipatory movement, and aimed at securing their indepen­ dence from other Protestant denominations. In 1890, an important missionary conference was organized in Amsterdam by the provisional synod of the newly founded Ehitch Reformed Church. One of the most important issues discussed at the conference was incorporation of the NGZV’s work into official church structures. One of the advocates of this incorporation was Abraham Kuyper, who developed a new and elaborate set of perspectives on which concrete activities were to be based. Fifty years earlier, H . Kraemer had argued convincingly that missionary responsibility belonged to the institutionalized church rather than to individuals, however well-intentioned these might be. Kuyper, going a step further, now main­ tained that Reformed Churches were ‘missionary churches’ {zendende kerken) by their very nature. In his view, this meant that local churches rather than ‘experts’ bore responsibility; he therefore dismissed mission based on expertise (deputatenzending). This theological stance was underpinned in several ways which would prove to have important consequences. Just as God the Father had sent his Sion to earth, so Christ was sending his church into the world. The missionary work undertaken by the church thus manifested Christ, a calling to continue and extend his work. Because of this, missionary work could only lead to incor­ poration . When the ‘heathen’ had done away with their false gods, they would have to be baptized so that Christ’s universal church would become visible in them . This meant that plantatio ecclesiae, the ultimate goal of the mission, could be achieved only in so far as the ‘true church’, manifested in the Dutch



Reformed Churches, was re-established elsewhere. The means towards this goal, the missionaries* work, thus became sanctified. Christ was manifest in their work. Kuyper condemned the private missionary corporations because these bore the imprint of the French revolution by ‘placing the missionary, rather than the church, at the centre.' Kuyper’s view, which primarily reflected theological debates and dissension in the Netherlands, in my opinion formed the basic legitimation of what came to be a set o f hierarchical religious relationships in the missionary field: a presbyterian view which led to Roman-Catholic consequences. The relation­ ship of the missionaries with the ‘heathen’ and the baptized converts was felt to mirror Christ’s work which had resulted in the creation of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands. This Christocentrie approach led to a set of hierarchical positions through which God’s authority flowed: from the church in the Netherlands to the missionaries to those baptized by them. The goal of establishing a Javanese Christian church could be said to be attained if and only if that church was an extension of the Dutch one. Another element strengthened and broadened the hierarchical views of the Dutch. The concept of ‘preparatory grace’ (voorbereidende genade) put for­ ward at the synod of Middelburg (Acta Synode 1896, art. 116), dealt with the problem of the missions’ concrete means. A distinction was made between nations which had attained a state of preparedness for the grace of God and others which still lacked it. This concept arose in connection with the ques­ tion of whether the missionaries should pursue a ‘civilizing policy’ in addi­ tion to their stricter missionary goals. Although the report recommending the concept reaffirmed the missions’ primary goals and rejected westernization, it stated that educational, medical and other services could be instrumental in preparing the ‘heathen’ for Christ: these services were not strictly part of the missions’ work, but auxiliary means to reach the goals proper. Thus, while a strict view of missionary work was retained, it became clear that various ‘developmental’ activities could well be considered as welcome andllaries. The difference between East and West took on theological significance. If one lacked western education one’s chances of attaining preparedness for God’s grace were slimmer. In short, while a policy of westernization was not a goal in itself, it was seen as an important means of achieving establishment of a Reformed Church in Central Java. Institutionalization of the Dutch Reformed Churches’ missionary work was carried out in the Netherlands. Primarily, it reflected internal Dutch discus­ sions regarding the nature of the church and its role in the world and put its stamp on the definition of ‘mission’. This is evident from the role which the existing Javanese Christian church in Central Java came to play in the debate in the Netherlands at that time. The agenda of the missionary con­ ference in Amsterdam included a speech by Lion Cachet about the missionary situation in the Dutch East Indies (Cachet 1890, pp. 50—65). In contrast to



Kuyper, Cachet advocated missionary work in Central Java because churches had already been established there: ‘not missionary stations, but churches, according to Reformed ordinance’. Indeed, these still needed some guidance, he said, but they were Javanese Presbyterian Churches of the Reformed creed and should remain so (cf. Acta Zendingscongres 1890, Aantekeningen). His view, which was also strongly advocated by the reverend J . Wilhelm and other workers in Central Java, did not carry the day. The Reformed Churches’ mission came to reflect a radical break with former principles. It seemed impossible to accept the Javanese church as being truly Reformed. The con­ demnation of the NGZV’s work was thus a consequence of the triumph of the concept of ecclesiastical mission. Within a mere two or three years. Cachet, but recently having urged co-operation with Sadrach’s Golongane Wong Kristen Kang Mardika, now became its fiercest opponent (Cachet 18%). Contacts be­ tween the NGZV missionaries and the Javanese church were broken off, and Cachet publicly condemned Sadrach. His change of heart was not occasioned by new insights gained in the course of his prolonged visit to Central Java in 1891. He formulated the denouncement in his diary while his vessel was still en route to Batavia. He came to Indonesia not to foster co-operation with the Javanese church but to end it. Cachet’s drastic reorientation was not an isolated case. An even more dra­ matic expression of the fact that the Dutch ecclesiastical context was more powerful than insights gained in the field, can be found in the writings of the reverend L. Adriaanse. He had come to Central Java in the early 1890s and was confronted there with the consequences of the new Dutch views. Initially, he especially deplored the haughty rejection by the Dutch of the Javanese Christian leader Sadrach. Adriaanse decided to visit various Javanese con­ gregations and started an extensive study of them. His great, sympathetic book about the Javanese Christian church in the nineteenth century, Sadrach’s Kring, was published in 1899. He expressed the view that the Javanese Chris­ tians, and especially Sadrach, had been greatly wronged. Surprisingly, upon his return to the Netherlands, Sadrach’s Kring was followed by several other studies, in which the orthodox view prevailed, and the importance of ad­ hering to principled views formulated in the Dutch context was emphasized. Adriaanse later stated that even if a church were instituted, missionary work could not stop because there were still ‘heathen’ in Java. Instead of favouring co-operation with an independent Javanese church, as he had done at the end of the nineteenth century, Adriaanse started to advocate a missiocentric approach. The Dutch missions were to assume all responsibility (Adriaanse 1903, 1939). The Dutch context had won out over the Central-Javanese. The argument so far has been that missionary goals, as defined from the outset by the Dutch Reformed Churches, were not rooted in the context of the Javanese Christians, who had established a church as early as 1886. The



perspective of those engaged in defining the churches’ missionary tasks and goals primarily comprised self-perceptions and views constructed in the Dutch context. Once the links with the Javanese Christian church were severed, the Reformed Churches’ energy was mobilized in an extraordinary way Church members, unaware of the situation in Java before 1900, became deeply com­ mitted to the goal of plantatio ecclesiae, according to the principles mentioned above. It might be said that missionary goals were ‘saved’ precisely because the Javanese church was rejected so harshly. In his essays, always treating of ‘principles’, Kuyper had not foreseen the possibility that a Christian church already existed in Java. Indeed, I have found no evidence that Kuyper ac­ tually knew very much about the situation there. However, this did not seem important at the time, as is evident from our discussion of the 1890 conference and his speeches at the first synod in 1896 on these matters. Kuyper was seen as the expert on building new foundations. In this respect, the new defini­ tion of missionary goals was clearly a matter of self-interest for the Reformed Churches. Rejection of the Javanese church made it possible for them to remain true to principles of Reformed theology. This judgement may seem overly harsh and without sufficient nuance. I do not think, however, that those gerefcrmeerde theologians who later expressed their distress concerning the ‘Sadrach affair’ and the resultant death of mis­ sionary Wilhelm, have dared to look deeply into the causes of these events (Van dcr Linden 1937). These did not lie in Central Java, but in the churchcs in the Netherlands. A hard look at the theological roots of missionary work is all the more important on account of subsequent events. The new missionary work began with D. Bakker, the first theologian to be sent to Yogyakarta, and spanned an era which ended in 1970. A missionary effort, to my knowledge unparal­ leled in scope and intensity, both spiritually and financially, started in 1901. A new Javanese Reformed Church was instituted in 1931; in 1970, when the Reformed missions withdrew their financial support, there were approximately 100,000 Javanese church members. The application of the principled approach had by then reached its limits of acceptability—to the D utch. The establishment of a hierarchy and church in Central Java (1900-1940) The theologians sent to Central Java during the first phase of the new approach were much better educated than the NGZV missionaries. High standards were set. This meant that they were keenly aware of the tasks they were to perform and of the strategies to be applied. Missionary work should be carried out by persuasive individuals. The strategy of proselytizing via centres of power was rejected. In contrast to the tactics of the Rheinische Mission in north­ ern Sumatra, individuals were not to be approached through their ‘traditional leaders’. Reading the articles in the Macedonier, the missionary journal of



the Reformed, one notes the great clarity with which the missionaries viewed their tasks. Especially D . Bakker S r., a teacher of indigenous evangelists, for many years defended Reformed views. It is apparent from these writings that the first generation of theologians sought to abide by the tasks as defined in the Kerkorde, church regulations (Quarles van Ufford 1980a, pp. 37-42). There were, however, practical problems. Apart from language difficulties, the most formidable problem for the theo­ logians was that of finding an audience. Various approaches were tried. Some sought to gather people through village heads who were willing to provide their office for the purpose. But it proved very difficult to carry out the task of preaching personally since people would eventually stay aw ay. One mission­ ary lamented that only prisons provided him with a relatively stable audience. The work would have to be done, they finally decided, through intermediaries. The missionaries began to employ colporteurs, who sold books and pam­ phlets to the general public. Another crucial decision was taken as well: the missionaries started to train indigenous evangelists, guru injil, to take over their daily tasks. In 1906, a school for evangelists was started; a three-year course was set up which would enable Javanese to assist the Dutch missionaries who were settling in different parts of Central Java. Over a period of almost twenty-five years, D. Bakker Sr. taught some thirty evangelists, who were to bear the burdens of preaching and pastoral care of the Javanese who came to be baptized. These students received a stipend while at school and were as­ sured of a modest salary from the missions afterwards. After graduation, they were employed by the Dutch missionaries in different areas. Stationed in the towns and villages around the district capitals where the Dutch missionaries resided, they carried out their work quite autonomously. Every fortnight or four weeks they convened at the missionary’s home for a day. There they sub­ mitted reports about their work and the problems encountered. These reports were discussed, and the missionary gave his advice; he also gave them further instruction about relevant topics. Thereafter, they received their salaries and departed. On the basis of the information provided by them, the missionary was able to report back to the church in the Netherlands, ask for advice and negotiate for the budgets he needed. Thus, the acute problems of preaching and evangelizing were solved. The solution was quite effective, as someone remarked: ‘When the missionary has ten good assistants he speaks with ten mouths and each of these does it better than he could have done himself (Dijkstra 1915, p. 233). In a sociological sense, the missionary field came to consist of a number of highly personal networks: the missionaries at the centre, surrounded by personally supervised Javanese guru injil. The Dutch missionaries exercised immense authority over these assistants, being their source of true faith, ar­ biters in difficult situations (when reported), providers of financial security and opportunities for further study and social advancement, either for the



evangelists themselves or for their relatives and children. The missionaries’ patronage over their assistants—usually of extended duration—encompassed a broad range of aspects. A second field of activities in which the missionaries engaged soon usurped most of their time and attention. Having initiated and established educational and medical institutions, these theologians turned into administrators, busily negotiating with the colonial government for subsidies for private Christian schools and with the home front for increased grants. This ‘developmental’ work came to be of utmost importance. The achievements were formidable. Within thirty years, 215 schools, 9 larger hospitals, 19 auxiliary clinics and 53 out-clinics were established. Teachers’ training centres were begun; not only nurses, but also local paramedical personnel were trained. All of these institutions resorted under the ultimate supervision of the missionaries, who administered specific regions on behalf of the missionary churches in the Netherlands. These activities broadened their authority and power in Java immensely. The schools and medical facilities also became centres for evangelization and religious training. To the Javanese, the missionaries were the headmen of an interwoven set of Christian institutions. The osmosis between religious and secular institutions was very great. At the sources of both the church and ‘secular’ institutions were the missionaries who made everything possi­ ble: they spearheaded and embodied the ‘organism’ of church-cum-secondary institutions (Quarles van Ufford 1980a, chapter 2). A closely-knit Christian sub-society came into being featuring clearly hierarchical relations. Becoming a Christian was the almost inevitable precondition, or result, of entering or using one of the auxiliary services. After thirty years of missionary work, nearly one-third of the Javanese Christian families derived their incomes from employment in these institutions. The Dutch provided the Javanese converts with a means of entering a modem society offering middle-class security. Those who wished to emancipate themselves and advance were given a reli­ gious model which closely fitted their aims. Secular and religious influences fused and created a Christian sub-society. A ‘price tag’ was attached to these achievements. Ensconced at the centre of authority in religious and secular matters, the missionaries began to lose touch with the local congregations. The reports and discussions between the guru injil and the missionaries consequently took on a new significance. These discussions had started as teaching and counselling sessions in which the mis­ sionaries took part in missionary work from a distance. As the number of Christians increased and the missionaries’ time had to be spent mostly in administering auxiliary institutions, the distance widened. The missionaries could no longer be fully cognizant of everything going on at the congregational



level. The evangelists, and later the first pandita Djawa, or pendeta utusan, Javanese pastors, gained autonomy—they were more or less forced to tend their garden as they saw fit. The function of the monthly discussions between the evangelists and mis­ sionaries changed; there was a clear tendency among the guru injil to adapt their reports to fit in with the constraints felt by the missionaries. The reports now tended to focus on achievement. The missionaries received fewer and fewer reports on the daily affairs with which the evangelists had to deal. This is evident, for example, from the messages which were sent from the mission­ aries in the field to the Netherlands. The emphasis was on ‘numbers', as they could be reported to the home front: how many were receiving religious instruction, how many attended church services and Christian schools, etc. When a question was asked regarding the local Christians’ attitudes toward and involvement in the slametan, religious communal meals, which were at the heart of the Javanese abangan religion, it was reported that ‘of course’ local Christians did not take part in them. Yet, when I did fieldwork in some local congregations in the 1970s, local pastors were still pained to see how popular these slametan were among their flock. The evangelists came to see the monthly meetings as sessions during which they received religious instruction but not advice on problems. In the highly personalized relationships with their guru agama, religious leaders, they had to adapt. The missionaries were their lifeline to G o d . It was the evangelists’ task to adapt, honour and learn, but not to speak of consequences at the level at which they were working. Reports could not presume to instruct missionaries on matters regarding the relation of faith and context. The evangelists there­ fore had to cope with their problems in private. The relationship between the guru injil and their religious mentors became ‘Javanized’ and clearly fitted the model of personal and total loyalty found in other situations and contexts. And of course, the missionaries made life possible; they were the source of a steady flow of money for an increasing number of purposes. These developments led to a most curious situation. The Dutch missionary community became almost totally isolated from the local affairs of the Java­ nese Christians. The missionaries, however, were quite unaware of this: as they saw it, their contacts with the people were very close in virtue of their personal Javanese ‘friends’ . The contradiction thus lay precisely in these re­ lationships. On the one hand, they were close because of the religious dimen­ sion . Javanese conceptions of hierarchical religious bonds fitted in nicely with the Christocentric views of the Reformed Churches: missionaries as emissaries of Christ, veritable gateways to God, On the other hand, this left the lo­ cal church level to face the consequences. How was it possible for them to create local congregations when they were confronted with the impossibility of making them independent religiously, financially and administratively, as



the missions officially decreed? Moreover, local Christians, mostly members of Javanese communities, could not and would not sever their bonds with their non-Christian context. This separation of local affairs from official missionary structures had the effect of strengthening the missionaries in their belief that they were on the right track. Their ‘westem-ness’ increased in their contacts with the Javanese guru injil, and their belief that christianizing and civilizing were of a piece was steadily reinforced. True Christianity would only be achieved if in the long run the Christian faith changed the whole fabric of Javanese social life. Religious education also became more western in the process. The training courses for evangelists were made longer and given in Dutch after 1926. This was to enable the Javanese to turn directly to theological sources written in Dutch. Before World War II, the next logical step was to send promising Javanese to the Netherlands for theological education. Since the path to true Christianity was marked by highly personal and hierarchical relationships, the guru injil, and later the pastors of the Javanese church, were highly dependent on the missionaries and Dutch Reformed Churches, and yet in practice left to their own devices. This contradiction between the evangelists’ personal dependence on the one hand and increasing autonomy on the other, inherent in the relationships of the Dutch missionaries and Javanese who became evangelists or pastors, had far-reaching effects. As stated above, the official goal of the mission was plantatio ecclesiae\ however, the Javanese were very reluctant to go along with this. This—again—convinced the missionaries of their indispensability. So they, in turn, were reluctant to allow a Javanese church-council, once it had been formed, to appoint Javanese pastors, because, they feared, the fragile beliefs of the local congregations would not be nurtured sufficiently. O n the other hand, they could rest assured on this matter if evangelists did the local work, since these assistants were employed directly by the Dutch missionaries themselves. Official Reformed criteria also posed a formidable obstacle as they saw it. If the Dutch missionaries were the constant source of religious understanding for the Javanese, how would the latter fare if this link were severed? Also, could local church members bear the financial burden of supporting their own pastors? (In the event, this argument was a spurious one; the Dutch continued financial support for many years to come.) Evangelists and missionaries were of the same mind and most unwilling to institute presbyterian independence. They were bound together by the nature of their relationship and saw no real alternative. Christianity had become a religion dominated by Dutch experts and the prevailing view was that leaving it to local congregations would lead to serious trouble, perhaps even to syncretism. In the meantime, the borne front was not trapped in this vicious circle and demanded progress. Reluctantly, formal structures were set up, a local churchboard formed and pastors engaged. The missionaries showed considerable



expertise in using every bit of flexibility in the term ‘independent church’ in order to delay its establishment: when a synod was finally instituted in 1931, its formal structure was such that it did not change the nature of the existing dependence, either financially or spiritually. The Dutch and Javanese clergy had no wish to change the nature of their relationship. At the end of the 1930s, F .L . Bakker, a young second-generation theologian engaged in mis­ sionary work, coined the word 4Kami-zending to denote what missionary work had thus far entailed. The word kam i means ‘we’, including the Dutch and excluding others, i.e ., the Javanese Christians. He was the first to express the notion that the institutional framework set up by the missionaries did not serve to attain the one legitimate end, the creation of an independent Javanese church. His warning was of no consequence, however. Right as he may have been, his views could not be supported by anyone engaged in the enterprise. Their interests would be at risk if his views were taken seriously. Gradual erosion of the bonds and the financial consequences The stakes were high for both the Javanese and the Dutch Reformed Churches when World W ar II broke out and the Dutch were sent to the Japanese camps in Indonesia. The home front in the Netherlands decided that missionary donations would continue to be collected despite the impossibility of trans­ ferring them to the mission. This enabled the church members to stay true to their missionary commitments. In 1947-1948, a new problem arose for the Dutch Reformed mission. Some young nationalist Indonesian Christians had created an association of Indo­ nesian churches in 1946, and they let it be known that they wanted an overall reformulation of the responsibilities of western, especially Dutch, churches and Indonesian churches respectively. At the time of the Indonesian revolu­ tion, the Christians’ paramount problem became: would they be able to find an accepted and acceptable niche in the newly emerging nation? Changed relations with the Dutch churches were part of their agenda. Each Indonesian church had to become responsible for its own affairs and the Dutch were to be delegated a secondary, assisting role, if any. The Synod of the Dutch Reformed Churches in Eindhoven in 1948 was faced with specific proposals by the Javanese aimed at alteration of the na­ ture of their bonds. The results of negotiations between delegations from the Javanese churches and the Dutch mission were discussed. Tlie question was whether the Dutch Reformed Churches would be willing to accept a more distant role. Would synod agree that the Javanese churches were responsible? Synod would n o t. Reverend Probowinoto, who had crossed the cease-fire lines in Indonesia to propose an alternative view of the roles of the churches in Java, did not succeed in convincing synod. The published proceedings of the meeting do not tell us much about how the discussions proceeded. They do,



however, show the results. After several days, Probowinoto accepted the view that the Javanese and Dutch churches should share responsibility. Recently, when I asked Probowinoto why he had accepted this, being a nationalist In­ donesian and facing a most difficult situation for Christians in revolutionary Indonesia, he explained this turnabout to me. During the conference he shared a room with an old Dutch missionary from Central Java (S .U . Zuidema). Together they had tried to assess the situation. There appeared to be a con­ sequence he had not foreseen: if the Dutch Reformed Churches were no lon­ ger to bear any responsibility for ‘their’ work in Central Java, they would cease to be missionary churches. And that, Zuidema explained, would be a mortal blow to their identity. The Dutch Reformed Churches would no longer be true churches. Their missionary responsibility, the principle for­ mulated at the Middelburg Synod in 1896, found its precise expression in Central Java. All devoted church members had been living with that reality and devoted their worship, zeal and offerings to that end. The raison d'être of the Dutch Reformed Churches was therefore at stake. That was the reason, Probowinoto said, why he had acquiesced. Can a son kill his father? No, he cannot, not even if they are facing each other from different camps. And, of course, the ‘millions’ in donations collected in the Netherlands during the war also had their special attraction. These were waiting to be spent in Central Java, which was indeed in a state of disarray as a consequence of political events. The paradoxical situation occurred that Probowinoto, a nationalist Indone­ sian who was one of the founders of the Nationalist Christian party of Indo­ nesia, Parkindo, and who had advocated the process of religious and political contextualization of his own church in Indonesia, became the advocate of renewed co-operation with the Dutch Reformed Churches. The religious selfinterest of the Dutch, represented by Zuidema, prevailed over the self-interest of Javanese Christians, represented by Probowinoto. As Zuidema put it to his Indonesian opponent: if the Dutch church could no longer be engaged in missionary work it could not remain a ‘true’ church. Basic dimensions of reformed self-awareness were at stake. For Probowinoto, however, the major issue was the Indonesian Christians’ primary concern with becoming part of the fight for Indonesian independence. During the Japanese occupation it had become quite clear that many nationalists regarded Christians as agents of the Dutch with whom old accounts had to be settled. Dependence in church matters and theology had become quite far-reaching, extending beyond a political level, even during the war. ‘F ather-son’, ‘older brother-younger brother’ were the metaphors which the Javanese used. The Dutch Reformed Churches preferred terms such as ‘partners in obedience’, thereby de-emphasizing the importance of the deeper structures of theologi­ cal inequality which were embedded in their missionary history. Theological independence had not yet become part of the missionary agenda.



Probowinoto succeeded in convincing most of the Javanese Christians to go along with Mm. In 19504Akkoorden van de Samenwerking (agreements of co-operation) were drawn up between the Dutch and the Javanese missionary churches. Only the churches in the Yogyakarta area did not co-operate fully; nevertheless, even these proponents of independence from the Dutch missions chose a policy of passivity and silence when it was clear that renewed co­ operation was supported by most of the Javanese churches. The Yogyakarta views were therefore of no consequence for the immediate future. The period starting in 1950 in many ways amounted to a continuation of the situation as it was before 1942. It was a time of restoration after the interval of the Japanese occupation and Indonesian war of independence. This be­ comes evident when one looks at the new structures which were set up. While other Dutch churches had formally accepted the primary responsibility of the Indonesian churches and agreed to a new role of assistance, the Reformed Akkoorden van Samenwerking emphasized that responsibility in Central Java was still to be shared by both churches. The accepted model for the agree­ ments between Dutch and Javanese missionary churches clearly formulated this: ‘All missionary work (the preaching of the Gospel to non-Christians) in the district . . . will be carried out by the two churches jointly*. The Dutch and Javanese churches would together appoint Javanese and Dutch missionary theologians. The appointees would carry out their mission­ ary work together in Java; their budgets would be submitted to both churches and they would employ evangelists to help them in their work. They also became responsible for the supervision of educational and medical activities on behalf of their respective churches. The formal difference with the earlier situation was that in principle the Dutch and Javanese missionaries would be equal in status. In fact, however, the pre-war situation was reinstituted and the Dutch returned to their old positions. Despite a new formal structure, the missionary field again comprised a network of hierarchical relationships between the Dutch and the Javanese. This situation was meant to last; this is evident because clear goals were no longer formulated. The old concept of plantatio ecclesiae no longer served its purpose; now it was made clear that the Dutch Reformed Churches were to stay as long as missionary work among non-Christians was to be carried out in Central Java. The ‘price tag’ remained attached to the networks now re-emerging. The lines of authority between Dutch and Javanese missionaries, mostly former guru injil, were re-established. Old friendships were renewed, in which the Dutch theologians regained their position of being the undisputed experts on matters of faith, ecclesiology, etc., while their Javanese colleagues were in­ valuable as informants regarding the situation in the local churches. If one could speak of change at all, it lay in the Dutch conviction that they, the Dutch missionaries, could now be even more efficient in planning and supervising



local church activities; the Javanese missionary pastors now became more ex­ plicitly auxiliary, and hence much more effective supervisors, so that in time the autonomy of these local pastors and evangelists and that of the local con­ gregations would in fact have decreased. Before this process could take hold, however, more pressing circumstances arose which required immediate attention: (1) the Dutch missionaries were forced to leave their posts by reason of the Irian Jaya conflict between Indo­ nesia and the Netherlands; (2) growing opposition at the local level forced the Javanese intermediaries, the missionary pastors, into a new role. Effectively, the AkJcoorden van Samenwerking lasted no longer than 10 years. At the end of the 1950s, all Dutch missionary personnel engaged in missionary work in Java were withdrawn from the field. Some took up other posts in Central Java: teaching positions in institutions of secondary and higher educa­ tion and specialized church training posts. Their ties with the local churches and missionary work were severed. Their departure had serious consequences. In the long run, it decreased the commitment of the Dutch missionary churches, whose members found it diffi­ cult to picture the Javanese missionaries as agents rather than targets of Dutch missionary work. A Dutch minister was a much more visible focal point for concrete commitment. Frequently, therefore, Dutch commitment tended to translate into financial donations and budget negotiations only. Another con­ sequence involved the relationships of the Javanese pastors to their congrega­ tions. Lines of authority broke down as the Dutch departed. The Javanese and Dutch missionaries together were seen as unitary source of religious, ad­ ministrative and financial authority and power. It was this ‘multiplexity’ which counted. Alone, however, the Javanese missionaries could not hope to be ac­ cepted by their church members as representatives of the power and authority which emanated from the Dutch. The lifeline of belief and faith had been based on direct personal relationships with the D utch. By himself, the Java­ nese missionary was no more than an administrative caretaker, an employee of the Dutch, a former colleague of many guru injil, with no prerogatives what­ soever as to religious authority. The Dutch had always claimed this preroga­ tive for themselves, so that now the Javanese pastors appeared to act on false grounds. The tragedy of th ependeta utusan, the Javanese missionary pastors, was that they were being supported by the Dutch to play a role which they could not fulfil. Their role was clearly defined in the organizational arrange­ ment which had been made between the Dutch and Javanese churches; the basis of their power and authority eroded as the Dutch withdrew. Moreover, they lacked a local power base, both in terms of a Javanese communal religion (which had never been permitted) and financially. The only option open to them was therefore to strengthen their position by bringing in as much money as possible from the Dutch churches. They began to act as brokers. By 1967,



all regular Javanese church expenditures were said to reduce to the category of missionary work: the Javanese local churches were, after all, missionary churches in just the same way as the Dutch Reformed Churches! (Akta Synode 1967). It was impossible to define churches except as being engaged in mis­ sionary work. The Javanese took A. Kuyper back to the Dutch! Towards the end of the 1960s then, the picture was roughly like this: having draped the mantle of authority around the shoulders of former guru injil, re­ styled a s pendeta utusan, the Dutch missionaries are gone. The new garb fits but poorly, however, its accoutrements unable to convince. Meanwhile, one area remains on which the Javanese pastors could capitalize: the ever present need of funds. Traditionally, the burden of financing the church belonged to the leaders rather than to the constituency; in fact, except in a few larger towns, where congregations contained a greater proportion of middle-class members, local contributions were dwindling. Invoking the Kuyperian Re­ formed principles, missionary history and the Akkoorden van Samenwerkmg, the pendeta utusan submitted expanding budgets to the Dutch, in a desper­ ate effort to augment, if not their spiritual authority, at least their economic usefulness. In the meantime, however, such theological views, which led to ever-increasing budgets submitted to the Dutch, only met the interests of a Javanese church leadership which was caught up in a most difficult situation. The Javanese needed the funds desperately in order to retain some of their power at the local level since their authority had been seriously eroded; the pendeta utusan had become brokers who had only economic power in the eyes of their con­ stituency . They had to give them money for all kinds of purposes in order not to be neglected completely. With only that power left, they fought desperately for their position and time and again emphasized the Reformed principles in­ volved, the value of the Akkoorden van Samenwerkmg and missionary history. In July, 1969, the synod of the Javanese Reformed Church received a letter and attached memorandum, signed by the chairman, the treasurer and the full-time secretary of the Java-Sumatra section of the missionary board of the Dutch Reformed Churches. The documents laid down the basis for future Dutch missionary policy and asked some disquieting questions. The signa­ tures indicated that a new course was fixed, the chairman being an older mis­ sionary who had held key posts in the mission in Central Java before 1960; the full-time secretary was of a new and younger generation. Indeed, their homework had been done, decisions ratified. The letter was sent in prepara­ tion of a meeting in Kopeng, a mountain resort in Central Java, where the Dutch hoped that their new policy would be accepted. If not, it was intimated, they would go ahead with it nonetheless. Two of the questions asked in the letter were: ‘Is it true that only a small proportion of the joint missionary funds is used for evangelizing among non-Christians? Is the assistance being



provided by the Dutch indeed helping the Javanese Reformed Churches to become independent?' Other questions were of a more specific nature regard­ ing a number of specific posts. Unfortunately for the Javanese, the Dutch memorandum provided its own answers: ‘assistance has not helped attain the goal of independence; too little is being done with regard to evangelization; many funds are being used for internal church expenditures' (Nota Kopeng, archives GKJ). The reactions of the Javanese church leaders were frantic. Their world col­ lapsed . They issued a flurry of written statements reiterating the old Reformed principles of ‘mission work’ and ‘mission church’ as they had been taught them, citing the Akkoorden van Samenwerking of 1950 and appealing to principles of joint responsibility. But these arguments were to no avail: the Dutch were already aware of them. For the Javanese, there was also an immense extra problem. In the world-view which they emphasized, and which they sought to retain, they were the younger brothers, adik, who had to be respectful to their older brothers, kakak. They were pupils who had to persuade their religious teachers to act in accordance with a faith which the teachers had taught and lost. This was a contradiction which could not be solved. Their only option was to bow their heads, accept the consequences and withdraw. The lot of the pendeta utusan was bitter indeed. The Javanese missionary pastors came to live in a vacuum. They were cast aside by the Dutch and, still seen as their agents, lost the support of the local constituency. They and many of their evangelists lost their posts, sometimes in a most caustic atmosphere. The end had come to a period which started in 1896 when the Dutch Reformed Churches decided to begin anew, dismissing the Golongani Wong Kristen Kang M ardika. The Dutch Reformed Churches once again had specific reasons for dealing with the Central Javanese Christians as they d id . These reasons were no longer those which inspired the post-World War II efforts at restoration, to which the pendeta utusan kept appealing. The Dutch were now constrained to formulate new definitions of commitment: the development debate had en­ tered the churches after the WCC Conference in Uppsala in 1968. As always, the Reformed Churches had to stay in tune with their own constituency, now in the throes of reorientations due to the ecumenical movement in the 1960s. As before, Reformed Churches could be missionary churches only if they did not dissociate themselves from the self-perceptions of their members. But as the Kopeng Report stated: the world had now become bigger than Central Java alone; development work in the Third World meant that attention had to be given to places outside Indonesia.



Conducting remarks The successive crises analysed above have certain characteristics in common, illustrative of the dynamics of the historical relationship between Javanese and Dutch Reformed Christians. Three interrelated elements recur in these crises: (a) the formulation of new goals and perspectives; (b) increased isolation of the Dutch and the ‘construction of ignorance’; (c) disregard by the Dutch of the consequences of earlier goals, strategies and actions. (a) In the introduction I distinguished between the symbolic and the opera­ tional function of missionary goals. While goals explicitly refer to situations which are outside the context of those who formulate them and therefore seem to be primarily operational, they are not. The primary function of goals is to render visible, enhance and legitimize the world-view of those who are to attain them . The missionary goals of the Reformed Churches are a case in point. The goals formulated in 1896 did not take into account the situation of Chris­ tianity in Central Java then. Although, as Cachet wrote as early as 1890, a Christian church did exist, this salient fact was disregarded entirely and those aware of it—some of whom actually possessed first-hand acquaintance with these congregations—quickly changed their views without explanation. The goal of plantatio ecclesiae, formulated by A . Kuyper, can only be under­ stood as an expression and extension of the belief that God had instituted the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and his work would not stop there. It reflected the triumphant mood of liberation among the Dutch Re­ formed Churches at that time rather than concern with the factual Javanese situation. The crisis of 1947-1948 confronted the Dutch Reformed Churches with the Javanese Reformed Church’s wish to assert itself as independent, not guided by the Dutch but rooted in the Indonesian context. As the Dutch saw it, this directly threatened the ‘missionary’ identity of their own church. The Dutch re-emphasized their views concerning the nature of the church and the need for ‘equal’ partnership between the Dutch and Javanese churches. This led to a restoration of the situation as it existed before the war, be it that some formal changes were made in their arrangements of co-operation. Although the goal of plantatio ecclesiae was no longer mentioned, the Dutch continued their operations in Central Java much as before. Missionary work was now described in terms of ‘partnership’, ‘co-operation’ and, later, ‘mu­ tual assistance’. Persuasive reference was made to the high calling of the Dutch Reformed Churches to be engaged in missionary work in Central Java, now held to imply that responsibility should be shared by the Javanese and Dutch churches. In fact, however, the Dutch churches considered their selfperception as missionary church, laid down fifty years earlier, more important



than the Javanese Christians’ formulations of their aspirations in the context of their struggle for political independence. The 1970 crisis was again prompted by the need of the Dutch missionary organization to adapt its views and goals to the changed aspirations of its own constituency. Now that problems of ‘development’ were receiving more attention in the agendas of the secularizing Dutch, missionary work had to follow suit. It could not go on emphasizing mutual responsibility with a very limited number of churches in a specific part of the Third W orld. The emer­ gence of the concepts T hird World’ and ‘development’ in the Netherlands required that the churches focus on areas other than just Central Java. If the Dutch missions continued to restrict their attention to this part of Indonesia, they would be in danger of losing their constituency’s support and becom­ ing an anachronism in the Netherlands. So, the delegations sent to Central Javi made it absolutely clear that—again—the Javanese Reformed Church had to accept the new situation and its consequences. Once more, the inter­ ests of preserving a missionary identity which was acceptable to the Dutch themselves prevailed over the definitions of co-operation and responsibility which the Javanese now put forward. All of the basic goals and legitimations were primarily oriented towards the Dutch scene, not to that of Central Java. During all three crises, the definitions of missionary work and responsibility in the Netherlands and Indonesia respectively differed and conflicted. Each time the Dutch views prevailed, and the nature of their relationships changed accordingly. (b) The crises described and analysed above were not isolated from one an­ other, nor should they be looked at as perhaps deplorable incidents in a long history of co-operation. While the changing Dutch context proved to be of vital interest to missionary enterprises due to the construction of new legit­ imations, goals and perspectives by the Dutch, this is not the only factor which must be taken into consideration. The new orthodoxies formulated at specific times in the history of the missionary enterprise emerged in a context in which the Dutch were isolated from their field of application. This isolation was partly due to external factors: the Japanese camps had removed Dutch missionaries from their stations and the Javanese church during the war; the tensions between Indonesia and the Netherlands later during the Irian Jaya affair had also forccd Dutch missionaries to leave their posts in the field and take other less visible positions. This led to increasing distance between the Dutch and Javanese partners, making it possible for each party to create new and distinctive orientations. This meant, for example, that the Dutch churches in the Netherlands were taken by surprise by Probowinoto’s report and its nationalist stance, extended to church affairs in 1947 and 1948. Apart from these external influences leading to a growing isolation of the Dutch, another, more systematic factor was involved. I emphasized that,



throughout the changing relationships between Dutch missionaries and Java­ nese church leaders, the Dutch were increasingly isolated from daily affairs at the local level. The evangelists employed by the Dutch as intermediaries did not simply serve the goal of bridgeing the gap between the missionaries and Javanese society. As early as the 1920s, local pastors and evangelists served as the only fragile connection between two disparate worlds. And they could not but let these worlds drift apart. In their relationships with the Dutch they assumed the role of religious pupils. Their reports on the local scene fit in with the normative and religiously legitimate orthodoxies of the Dutch. The Dutch believed that they had first-hand knowledge of the local situation because of their ‘friendships’ with their loyal intermediaries; in fact, however, they became increasingly estranged from the local scene. In effect, there was a need for the Dutch not to know and this ‘construction of ignorance’ suited both sides very well. The growing gap between the two worlds, the Dutchdominated world of normative and legitimate orthodoxies and the local Java­ nese scene, was the most important factor in the eruption of major crises at different times. This systematic factor indeed rendered the crises unavoidable. (c) When one looks at the history of relations between the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the church of Central Java over a longer period of time, a cyclical process becomes evident. Its basic pattern consists of two elements: the construction of new legitimacies and their gradual erosion. The real world time and again proves to be more complex than envisaged at the outset. Each time, the formulation of new goals is primarily influenced by the Dutch context, i.e ., the committed but changing constituency in the Nether­ lands. This leads to periodic breaks with the past. An inability to learn from this past and to take seriously what had happened is apparent each time. The same process occurred again with the stepped-up sequence of change which took hold of developmental orthodoxies in the 1970s and 1980s This latest ‘break’ with the past seems to continue previous missionary developments, rather than to improve on them . In closing, I should add a note on ethnocentrism and its role in the relation­ ships between Javanese and Dutch Christians. This issue is relevant in view of my argument that the self-interests of the Dutch Reformed Churches pre­ dominated and were imposed on the Javanese with whom the Dutch mission came into contact. My conclusion must be that ethnocentrism is inevitable if continuation of missionary efforts is to be preserved. Missionary goals cannot be separated from the self-perceptions and identity of the Dutch constituency from which the missionary organization evolves. Goals and strategies must necessarily be formulated such tliat they reflect the perceptions which the con­ stituency has of its role in the world. The nature of missionary activities has reflected the—changing—ways in which the Dutch Reformed Churches have



seen their tasks and roles in a changing Dutch context. Perception of what was needed in Central Java clearly changed when changes in the Dutch con­ text so demanded. This happened in 1890-1900 when the Dutch Reformed Churches ‘set themselves free’. Their move towards independence called for a principled break with their missionary past in Central Java as well. The crisis around 1970 was also related to important changes in the Netherlands: as development problems and wider issues of exploitation, hunger and poverty became major issues in Dutch perceptions of the Third World, the missionary organizations were in danger of becoming an anachronism, reflecting a Dutch ecclesiastical past from which the younger generations suddenly had become estranged in the 1960s. It was primarily an interest in preserving continuation of the Dutch mis­ sionary enterprise, therefore, which led to the drastic cuts in financial aid to the Javanese Reformed Church in the 1970s. The fact that the Dutch Re­ formed world had become larger than Central Java was much more important than the fact that the Javanese Reformed Church had been dependent on their assistance for a long time. For sixty years that dependence had not been a problem; on the contrary, it had been nurtured. It might well have remained a ‘dormant* problem, because the Javanese church’s dependence was, as we have seen, a consequence of earlier Dutch views and strategies. When the Javanese churches themselves gave priority to notions of independence, self-reliance and ‘Indonesation’ in 1947 and 1948, the Dutch Reformed Churches did not agree. They wished continuity after the ‘interval’ of Japanese occupation. It did turn into a major Dutch problem at the a id of the 1960s, becoming visible to the Dutch when they wished the Javanese church to be independent. The problem of ethnocentrism cannot be escaped. It is inevitable in any undertaking which relates the Dutch context to different cultures. It should therefore be admitted, acknowledged and debated. The study of missionary endeavours provides us with an opportunity to trace the consequences of Dutch orthodoxies in the long run. It may also be of great value if taken as an opportunity to become a bit more modest in the latest phase of missionary endeavours: development work. Notes 1. Part of this essay has been read at the Conference organized by the International Council of Social Science Research, Cebu City, the Philippines, September 1986. 2. The distinction between goals as symbols or a particular self-awareness and as operational objectives is made in organizational theory (Mintzberg 1979, 1983). Tne first function is based on the need of the organization to survive, i .e ., to be able to count on continued spiritual and financial support. In the practice of non-profit organizations these goals can be quite separate from the operational objectives. The concrete activities which are carried out, however, must always be defensible within the terms of the ‘sacred symbols’.



References Acta van de Synode der Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland, 1896 and 1948. Acta van het Zendingscongres 1890 Acta van het Zendingscongres gehouden te Amsterdam volgens opdracht der Voorloooige Synode van Nederduitsche Gereformeerde Kerken. Amsterdam: J.A . Wormser. Akta Synode 1961 Akta Synode Gereja Kristen Jawa (archives kantor synode GKJ, Salatiga). Adriaanse, L. 1899 Sadrach’s kring. Leiden: O. Donner. 1903 De nieuwe koers in onze zending; o f toelichting op de zendingsorde. Amster­ dam: W. Kirchner. n . d . De zendingsarbeid onzer Gereformeerde Kerken onder de Javanen en Chinezen op Midden Java. Zeist: J.C . de Mildt (1939). Lion Cachet, F. 1890 ‘De arbeid door de Nederlandse Gereformeerde Kerken’ thans in de zending te verrichten in Indië. In Acta van het Zendingscongres. Amsterdam: J.A. Wormser, pp. 50-65. 1896 Een jaar op reis in dienst der zending. Amsterdam: J.A . Wormser. Diikstra, H . 1915 Pandita Djawa. De Macedoniër, vol. 19, pp. 233-242. Gilhuis, J.C. 1955 Ecclesiocentrische aspecten van het zendingswerk. Kämpen: J . H . Kok. Guillot, C. 1981 L'Affaire Sadrach; un essai de christianisation à Java au XIXe siècle. Paris: Editions de la maison des sciences de l’homme. Kuyper, A. 1890 Zending. In Acta van het Zendingscongres. Amsterdam: J A. Wormser, pp. 2-12. Linden, J. van der 1937 Enkele grepen uit bet leven van de zendeling J. Wilhelm. De Macedoniër, vol. 41, pp. 73-80; pp. 133-141; pp. 170-178. Mintzberg, H. 1979 The structuring o f organizations. New York: Prentice Hall. 1983 Power in and around organizations. New York: Prentice Hall. Quarles van Ufford, Ph. 1980a Grenzen van internationale hulpverlening. Assen: Van Gorcum. 1980b Why don’t you sit down; Sadrach and the struggle for religious indepen­ dence in the earliest phase of the Church of Central Java (1861-1890). In R. Schefold et al. (eds), Man, meaning and history. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, pp. 204-230. Verkuyl, J . 1982 Jnleiding tot de zendingswetenschap. Kampen: J . H . Kok.

5 ‘Only Bullets Make Them Listen’ Population Mobility, Housing and Policy in Pakistan Frits Selier & Jan van der Linden

(impoverishment and expulsion of peasants and landless in the countryside, squalid shanty towns in sprawling cities, utterly inadequate governmental policies and ill-conceived, ineffective or back-firing attempts to stem the tide of human misery—the picture is a familiar one in ‘developing countries’ the world over. Pakistan is no exception. Its largest city, Karachi, has at an astounding rate turned into a megapolis unable to cope with the enormous influx of migrants from remote and destitute rural areas. The human problems are appalling; there just seems to be no way to house these landless, homeless poor, to provide at least some shelter for them. Low-income housing projects have been initiated, but it is not enough. The Free University, Amsterdam, has, for some years now, researched the Karachi situation. We offer a brief background analysis. We concentrate on the effect of policy on the process of migration and on the provision of housing for the migrants as they move into Karachi. It will be seen that in Pakistan very little policy on these matters has been formulated or implemented. Both population distribution and housing are largely left to the free play of market mechanisms, a thorough-going liberalism flanked by a minimum of explicit policy-formation. In fact, it is only on account of the sheer magnitude of the problems that the authorities developed some policy at a ll. The measures regarding migration and housing have not been without effect; unfortunately, however, the results did the poor no favour. On the other hand, given the power-configurations characteristic of the country, one may question whether a less laissez-faire population-distribution policy would fare much better. © Free University Press, 1988



The country-side poor are the victims of agricultural development. Many policy measures have reinforced a process of marginalization. Other policy measures, perhaps designed to curb the negative side-effects of agricultural development, were implemented very poorly. As a result, the marginalized rural poor were dispelled and migrated to the cities. However, their marginal­ ization did not stop here. Although policies have been designed to solve the urban poor's housing problems, their execution has continually favoured the more well-to-do and discriminated against the poor, who were soon forced to develop their own informal, often illegal, solutions to problems which the government left unresolved. Thus, a process of polarization has taken place, in the course of which government policies have steadily lost credibility.

Small farmers and development If one can speak of non-agricultural growth on the subcontinent, one must add that Pakistan has had less than its share of it. Even today Pakistan is predominantly agricultural. Employment in agriculture remained at much the same level since Pakistan's independence in 1947: 65% then as compared to the current 57%. Moreover, agriculture is still the chief contributor to the G NP. It is hardly feasible to present a generalized picture of Pakistan’s agrarian structure as a whole, since this huge country contains not only very different ethnic groups but also a great variety of geographic situations. By 1982—83 the province of Punjab provided 57% of the cultivated area, Sind 27%, the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) 9% and Baluchistan 7% (Kardar 1987, p. 19). The interprovincial and even interregional imbalances are rather im­ pressive. Large, mountainous and arid parts of the province of Baluchistan have hardly any agricultural production. The same is true of the northern part of the NWFP, consisting of mountainous areas poorly suited for agriculture, except in the valleys. A striking difference obtains between these areas and the remainder of Pakistan. Originally, rural society in Baluchistan and (the non­ settled) parts of the NW FP is mostly tribal, rather than feudal as it is in the province of Sind. This tribal society is extremely poor and unemployment is rampant. Official agricultural policy paid most attention to Punjab and least to Baluchistan. Of all agricultural land today 70% is irrigated and the rest baran i, i.e . rain fed (Naseem 1981, p. 107). Agriculture on barani land is 50% less productive than on irrigated land. The interregional differences are remarkable in this respect as well. Of the total cultivated area in 1982-83 in Punjab 95% was irrigated, in Sind 97%, in the NWFP 40% and in Baluchistan 39% (Kardar 1987, p. 19) Khan (1981) does not even bother to include Baluchistan and Kashmir in his statistics (cf. table 1).



Table 1: Distribution of landownership in Pakistan and provinces, 1976 Pakistan % % owners owned Farm size1 area SmaU Medium Large

88 10 2

46 31 23

Punjab % % owners owned area 89 10 1

50 32 18

NWFP Sind1 % % % % owners owned owners owned area area 94 5 1

6\ 21 18

64 28 8

2\ 38 42

Source: Khan 1981, p. 200. Of the rural labour force 88% is landless or near landless (Oberai 1983, p . 5). Agricultural land is in the hands of a few landlords, many of them controlling large holdings, as can be seen from table 1.3 In 1981,30% of the entire agricul­ tural area of Pakistan was held by 0.5% of the landowners—those owning 150 acres or more (Hussain 1984, p. 48). In 1972, 68% of all operating farms of entire Pakistan were smaller than 12.5 acres. This means that two-thirds of all farms did not even meet the official criterion of subsistence holding 4 Besides, of all agricultural acreage in Pakistan nearly half is cultivated by tenants while in many cases the landlords are absent. This is another major feature of the landsystem in Pakistan. Today we can distinguish five categories of peasants/farmers. The first is the oldest and consists of landlords {zamindars or chaudris) who maintain quasi-feudal relations with their haris (tenants). This category is declining in size. The second type of farmers is recent and especially located in Sind. They are the newly rich capitalist farmers with access to modem technology and to the markets. These owners usually hire wage labour to work with machines. Thirdly, there are the mass of marginal owners dominant in the NWFP and Punjab. They use mainly family labour and produce for family consumption. The very small among them are partly tenants to o .5 The fourth category comprises the haris, the tenants working on others’ land sharing the output. Tenants cultivate 56% of the agricultural land in Punjab, 50% in NW FP and no less than 80% in Sind (Johnson 1979, p. 153). It is confusing to speak of ‘tenants’ in general. This category in fact consists of main tenants exercising power over many sub-tenants and labourers, and the poor dependent small tenants.6 Hence, it would be incorrect to contrast big landlords and poor peasants only. In between exists the category of main tenants who as a rule are politically loyal to the big owners. Tenancy can have different shapes. Very common is the batai system in which the tenant is obliged to pay half of the harvest. All kinds of extra payments can be added, for instance, for the use of tools. Sometimes the rent can be paid annually in cash. Contracts are always made for one year only, which does not exclude long-term co-operation when the relationship between landlord



and tenant is satisfying. Many tenants rent plots from several landlords at the same time. If a tenant is unable to pay, the landlord very often will buy the tenant's share which he can lend back at interest. In many cases entire tenant shares are continually appropriated in this way binding the tenant in a debt relationship. Consequently, many haris still have a rather insecure economic and social position. Many of the landlords still wield a great deal of power over their tenants, which results in an almost feudal situation. The tenant can be ousted from his land, his shares in the crops can be misappropriated and he can be sent away by his zamindar (Usmani n .d ., p. 2). Many are heavily indebted to their lord, so that the—mostly illiterate—hari can be manipulated to perform all kinds of extra services and make added payments. The fifth category consists of landless wage labourers (mazdur), either per­ manently or temporarily employed. Two land reforms To understand rural Pakistan as it is today one needs to be familiar with certain historical trends in its agrarian structure and regional policy.7 As noted, a characteristic feature of Pakistan's agrarian situation is absenteelandlordism. It goes back to the days of the Moghul empire which can be seen as a centralist state which did not recognize private ownership of land. Peasants had to pay tribute (about half of the crop) to zamindars, who pos­ sessed the hereditary right to keep from 10 to 25 per cent of it. Although army men, called jagirdars, did not possess hereditary rights, they were entitled to appropriate the full tribute of the territories granted to them because of their military merits. Zamindars or jagirdars, however, had no possession right to their territory. In the course of history the exploitation by the Moghuls became unbearable to the point that peasant revolts were unavoidable (see Kooiman 1980). During that period of struggles the zamindars developed more and more characteristics of patrons of the peasants and they became intermediaries between peasants and Moghul administrators, a development which laid the basis for feudal relationships (Khan 1981, p. 130). While private ownership of land during the Moghul (and Sikh) period was not legally recognized, the first measure adopted by the British, one which had the most impact, was the establishment of explicit rights to private ownership of land. This enabled the colonizers to establish the land-revenue system. Not the land products were taxed but the land itself. The land revenue was assessed on the basis of rental value, later converted into an acreage tax base system. By this measure the feudal-like system of landlordism in Pakistan became a fact. Zamindars and jagirdars (exempted from the duty to pay tax) were alloted large tracts of agricultural land. Small farmers (ryots), who had managed to remain outside the influence of the zamindars and jagirdars, received their land in ownership as well. Many of those small farmers, however, were not able



to pay the new tax and they rented out their properties to moneylenders, who in many cases finally took over the land. Thus, a new class of big landowners was created, consisting mainly of Hindu people (Khan 1981, p . 133). As rural indebtedness increased, more land was mortgaged, eventually becoming the property of Hindu moneylenders or put up for sale. Indebtedness, which was previously not a serious problem on the subcontinent, threatened to wipe out small peasant proprietors through mortgage and alienation. Another important colonial measure was the opening up of huge tracts of new arable land, mainly in Punjab; canals were dug and irrigation systems installed. The land obtained was sold to those who were prepared to estab­ lish modem capitalist farms efficiently producing the needed export products. The introduction of canal irrigation by the British led to even greater social inequality. During this period peasant farming in Punjab was more and more replaced by tenancy and absentee-landlordism as the prevalent mode of agrarian production. In the course of the 1970s, once this new type of capitalist middle-class farmers had introduced efficiency by means of mechanization and rationalization of their properties, the old-fashioned big landlords followed their example. At the end of the 1950s Pakistan's agricultural development was character­ ized by stagnation. In view of the fact that production and export of agrarian products formed the basis of the economy, development of the agricultural sector was badly needed, not only to provide food for the population but also in order to obtain, through export of agricultural products, the foreign exchange for capital and goods for industry. The government decided to in­ troduce a land-reform programme.8 In 1959, under the military regime of general Ayub Khan, the first land-reform programme was started. A second reform movement followed in 1972. The goals of the land reforms in Pakistan can be summarized as follows: (1) to end the feudal-like tenancy system; (2) to improve ownership patterns; (3) to put a maximum to the acreage; (4) to stabilize the smaller farms and to prevent further division of holdings (Joshi 1976, p . 239). The background idea was that stimulation of small and medium farmers actually interested in the land they themselves cultivated would in­ crease agricultural production. It had become evident that the output per acre from this type of farms was higher than that produced by large-scale absentee farmers not themselves engaged in cultivation. Behind an apparently humanistic land-reform scheme, then, we discover purely economic motives, partly inspired by urban-industrial goals (Sen, in Hussain 1984). To be sure, social justice was a consideration as well; however, here too a more practical reason applied: it was feared that the mass would eventually stop accepting too bitter an injustice; social tensions and upheavals could be the result. The government stimulated the introduction of new varieties of rice and wheat, high-yielding if sufficiently irrigated and fertilized. This Green Revo­ lution entailed a sharp increase in the number of tubewells (Meyerink 1983,



p. 10). In the 1960s and 1970s 100.000 tubewells were installed (Kardar 1987, p. 163). The endeavour to enlarge the agrarian output stimulated mechani­ zation of agriculture in other respects as well. From this moment the gov­ ernment encouraged the use of tractors by providing a variety of incentives, such as concessional rates of custom duties and taxes, loans at low interest rates, and by establishing tractor assembly plants. This policy has been rather successful: in 1959 there were about 3000 tractors in Pakistan, by 1984 the number had increased to 200.000. The main target of Ayub’s land-reform scheme was to put a ceiling to landownership. This was fixed at 500 acres of irrigated and 1000 acres of non­ irrigated land or a determined combination of both. However, in practice so many escape clauses could be applied that the area recovered by government to be redistributed among the small farmers and the landless was disappoint­ ingly small. The above-mentioned maximum was made to depend also on the production capacity of the land according to norms established in the 1930s. Hunting territories, fruit plantations and cattle farms were excepted entirely. Moreover, both male and female descendants were allowed to inherit land inter vivos (i.e . while the owner is still alive). Such land was disregarded in the assessment of the ceilings on property. Islamic law prescribes equal partition of land among sons and smaller amounts among daughters, who were actually bought off in most cases. The 1959 land reform aimed at preventing further fragmentation of land: holdings below ‘economic holding* level were not allowed to be divided below ‘subsis­ tence level* and holdings above economic holding level were not allowed to be divided below that level. In March 1972 Bhutto launched another land-reform scheme. Again a ceil­ ing to private landownership was established, and again the very outdated production capacity as used in the Ayub scheme became the criterion. Also, family members could divide property among themselves. In this case too, the government finally obtained limited areas of very poor quality. Another measure related to the ¿aftu-system. Once again, the government prohibited extra demands by the landlords but failed to put a limit to the share which could be asked from the tenants. Implementation of new land reforms was discontinued in 1977 by the new administration of Zia-ul-Haq. Effects of the policy and causes of rural outmigration The Green Revolution and other measures to stimulate productivity did take effect. Generally speaking, Pakistan’s economy grew remarkably. At the same time, however, the gap between the rich and the poor increased. Rather than rendering the feudal system obsolete, these measures tended to reinforce it, especially on account of monetarization of agriculture and tenancy. Today,



landlords do not ask a share of the output; they demand an amount of money calculated on the basis of the maximal output of a fully modernized and efficiently operating farm. This, as well as the fact that all other means of production such as water and transportation were also monetarized, rendered subsistence farming impossible for small farmers and tenants. The privatization of the agricultural lands and the concomitant land-revenue system introduced by the British—which system still exists—put the poor at a disadvantage. In this system farmers are still exempted from paying in­ come tax—a circumstance which benefits big landlords much more than small peasants. Anyway, the tax is outdated and implies today a ridiculously low amount per acre. It is not progressive and is assessed on cultivated land only, not on the area owned, so that small peasants, who usually cultivate larger proportions of their possessions than big owners, are at a disadvantage again. Because of the numerous escape clauses and the possibility to inherit inter vivos, the ceiling on land property was not effective. In practice landlords could continue to possess areas of 2000 up to 3000 acres of irrigated land (Khan 1981). All land-reform measures after Independence resulted in the government obtaining no more than 2,4 million acres of land, of which but half is suitable for agriculture. That part was divided among about 120,000 tenants and small owners. The rules against splitting the holdings were in many cases evaded by creating joint holdings managed by the oldest son.9 Small farmers were unable to reap the positive results of the Green Revo­ lution and agrarian improvements. Over 90% of all farmers still belong to the low-income category and have no access to modem technology (cf. Kardar 1987). Only large farmers could profit from government support. Government loans were available for them exclusively, because they alone could provide sufficient guarantees. The agricultural census of 1980 showed that 90% of the households operating holdings under 5 acres got their credit from noninstitutional sources as against 40% of those operating over 50 acres (Kardar 1987, p. 150). Small farmers cannot afford the investment needed for better seeds and fertilizers. As irrigation was not possible everywhere, regional in­ equality increased. In 1968, 70% of the tubewells had been installed at farms of more than 25 acres of land and only 4% at farms of less than 13 acres, the latter constituting two thirds of all farms in Pakistan (Naseem 1981, p. 10). Also, in the wake of the Green Revolution landlords tended to consider it profitable to reclaim parts of their rented-out area in order to have it cultivated by labourers and tractors. After the 1972 reform schemes the agricultural acreage cultivated by tenants diminished by 25%. In Punjab, 4% of the farms were above 50 acres in 1960, which amounts to about 18% of the total area cultivated. In 1980 the number of farms above 50 acres had doubled, to com­ prise nearly 39% of all cultivated land. Thus, a polarization occurred in dis­ tribution of farm s. This is essentially the result of large landowners resuming land formerly rented out (Kardar 1987, p. 149).



In consequence of the reform schemes, the position of small farmers dete­ riorated steadily. Many small farmers were forced to sell land to pay off their debts. Through the reform schemes tenants lost the traditional security of patronage. The restoration of tenancy rights opened the option of going to the Land Court in case of a dispute with the landlord. The state, however, provided no means to defray the costs incurred. Tenants insisting on their rights only invite trouble with their landlord. In many cases the police had to interfere in order to keep some sort of order. The reforms were not only meagre for the small farmers and tenants. Many agricultural labourers lost their jobs as the government stimulated use of tractors. More than 50 per cent of the loans granted by the Agricultural Development Bank between 1976 and 1982 related to this mechanization (Kardar 1987, p. 163). The outcome was a massive increase of the number of landless labourers: to operate tractors is cheaper. It has been estimated that one 24-horsepower tractor displaces eleven labourers (three of them needed for creating, operating and maintain­ ing the machine). Hence, increase of agricultural job opportunities lagged far behind population growth. A further cause of this lag is the fact that many big landowners invested large parts of their agricultural profits in urban industrial projects.10 In spite of several national land-reform schemes, there still exist disproportionally large landowners in Pakistan. In many cases they retain a powerful hold on their tenants. We may conclude that the reform schemes were profi­ table to middle-class landowners and main tenants only. Regarding the rural poor it is fair to state that their position has been further marginalized, though not because of stagnation of the national economy. On the contrary, ever since the implementation of agricultural policy production increased rather success­ fully. But this is paralleled by an increasing gap between the rural rich and the poor because authorities failed to protect the small farmers, leaving free play for the market mechanisms. Under those conditions the strong usually profit. T h e agrarian sector is characterised by concentration in landownership, growing landlessness and a peasantry with subsistence holdings indebted to money lenders and at the mercy of intermediaries’ (Kardar 1987, p. 186). The ensuing lack of purchasing power has constrained the development of rural industrialization which is so badly needed to increase employment op­ portunities. Redistribution schemes have failed because the big landlords exercise eco­ nomic and political control. The landlords not only monopolize the fresh water supplies, they are active politically as well and occupy many parliamen­ tary seats. The land-reform schemes seem mainly politically motivated, a bid to evoke the loyalty of small owners and big landlords, the latter having little to fear and the former little to gain.




Migration and urbanization Since 1948 there is a steadily growing rural outflow, in most cases to urban centres, especially Karachi. According to the 1981 census, 16 per cent of the total Pakistani population (84 million) consisted of migrants, i.e ., people 10 years of age or older born outside the district in which they were living at the time of the census. Of these 14 million migrants, about 5 million had moved recently (during the inter-census period 1971-81), 2 million of them going abroad. Of the remaining recent internal migrants, 80 per cent were rural outmigrants, many of whom headed directly for Karachi. Migration originates especially in the households of small farmers, small tenants, labourers and craftsmen. Small farmers are no longer able to make a subsistence living or have lost their land. Moreover, at 35 per cent of all small farms hidden unemployment is a major problem (Naseem 1981, p. 98). N ot only small tenants lost their jobs. In 1972 more than 2 million agricultural labourers were already underemployed and looking for new opportunities. Rural-urban migrants originate mainly from these categories, since it is hard to find any employment in off-farm sectors. Migration to the city is one of the few options left. Karachi, comprising less than half a million people in 1947, now shelters about 8 million inhabitants. This enormous growth (at a rate of roughly 5 per cent annually), was generated by immigrants from present-day India im­ mediately after Partition in 1947, and mainly by rural-urban migration there­ after. It is estimated that of the approximately 350,000 new inhabitants in Karachi each year, at least 150,000 are migrants. According to the 1981 cen­ sus (Population Census Organization 1984, p. 90) 80 per cent of Karachi’s inhabitants older than 29 years were bom outside the city. It is also estimated that of the 8 million inhabitants in contemporary Karachi about 2.5 million are squatters, living in one of the approximately 350 katchi abadis or bastis— ‘irregular* settlements—in the city. Leaving aside goths, i.e ., villages incor­ porated into the city, it may be said that in the bastis (where many migrants first settle) all heads of households are migrants. Of the migrants living in Karachi’s katchi abadis 60 to 95 per cent (survey results vary) come from the remote villages of Punjab or the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) (Selier 1986, p. 7 ) .n

Housing Karachi's poor tbe situation and the problem Karachi’s staggering population growth by itself is enough to make for im­ mense shelter problems. The poverty of a large portion of this population makes things even worse. In 1974, it was estimated that some 80 per cent of the Karachiites belonged to the low-income groups which had, in fact, no access to legally recognized forms of housing (MPD 1974, p. 51). The



situation may have changed slightly since, especially due to a redefinition of what constitutes 'legal housing', but still the majority of the population and especially of those newly moving in cannot afford even the cheapest form of legal housing. Alternatively, this group is forced to doubling or tripling up in order to meet the expenses on legal housing. Many of the poor have turned to forms of informal or illegal housing. As mentioned above, it is estimated that around 2,500,000 people or 37 per cent of the city’s population are living in Karachi’s bastis or katchi abadis (GOS 1983, p. 7). As government resources are scarce, public institutions cannot reasonably be expected to fill the enormous continually widening gap between the need for low-income housing and supply. In this sense, then, the prospects for a solution are quite dim. There are, however, a number of assets at hand which can be mobilized in an attempt to make the best of a difficult situation. First of all, most land around Karachi is publicly owned and not used. Cumbersome, expensive or politically difficult expropriation procedures need not arise for converting it into urban land. Secondly, over the years the poor have shown themselves quite capable of solving a major part of the housing problem. Forced by circumstances, they have squatted on public land, or bought plots in illegal subdivisions. They have not only built their houses, but also taken some care of secondary provisions (cf. Van der Linden 1977). Informal systems have evolved which to a certain extent substitute for the absent public facilities and amenities: water carriers, sweepers, informal schools, informal savings and credit associations are examples of this. All in all, a potential is present which, if well mobilized, can substantially reduce the public burden of shelter provision.

Government policies for low-income bousing in Karachi Even many of the less destitute refugees, who entered the country from India after Partition, had no option but to erect their own improvised huts, at the city’s periphery or in the centre, often on footpaths, along watercourses, rail­ way lines, etcetera. In this period, no one was able to assess the dimensions of the housing problem, far less to predict its future course. The initial response of the gov­ ernment was resettlement in ‘low-cost housing'. During the first ten years after Partition, some 50,000 families were evacuated from their provisional abodes and resettled in new colonies created north and east of the existing city. The relative success of these new colonies was due to the heavy subsidy component in the schemes. Moreover, as noted, in those days many of the squatters were not poor. Third, most of the new colonies were created in close proximity to the city’s centre. Finally, the number of houses being provided was modest, so that the state could sustain the subsidies involved. However, supply lagged



far behind dem and. As a result, the number of ‘shelterless people’ was around 650.000 in 1959 (Jedraszko 1966). Against this background the ‘Greater Karachi Resettlement Programme’ was launched in 1959. It pursued the same policy on a much larger scale. The first stage of this programme consisted of planning and building two entirely new townships, Korangi and North Karachi, at a distance of 10-15 miles from the d ty centre. These townships were intended to house 600,000 people. This programme had to be discontinued even before half of the houses were built. The main reason for this was the scheme’s cost recovery record. In spite of heavy subsidies, the arrears in allotees’ payments in both townships now still exceed Rs 120 million (Nientied & Kalim 1986, p. 83). Among the causes of this deplorable result is the fact that—contrary to original plan­ ning for both areas—no job opportunities were created in the neighbourhood of the townships. Therefore, the evicted and ‘rehabilitated’ previous basti dwellers had to spend a high proportion of their income on conveyance to and from their place of work in the d ty . As a result, many could not afford to pay their instalments. Once it became known that the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) had no effective means to exact payment, a majority of inhabitants stopped paying. Even so, many of the resettled population sold their dwelling rights in the townships and went back to the d ty finding shelter in squatments. Whatever their drawbacks, these townships dearly demonstrated the gov­ ernment’s will to tackle the problem of low-income housing: both the govern­ ment’s finandal support of this programme and the speed and effidency of initial execution have been impressive. It became clear that the new townships suffered from all of the shortcomings of so-called low-cost housing projects— i.e ., providing too little of too expensive a product; hence, a new attempt was made by KDA from 1965 onwards: the ‘plot-townships’. These schemes cannot be labelled ‘sites-and-services projects’, since absolutely no services were provided in them. All KDA did was demarcate roads and plots of 80 or 120 square yards. In fact, even legal tenure was not provided in these townships. In Baldia, one of the three townships included in this programme, the inhabitants were allowed to apply for a lease contract only after 1981. Apart from KDA’s failure to provide services and legal tenure, its extremdy slow delivery of plots is worth noting in contrast to previous undertakings. During the four years in which KDA pursued this programme, a total of only 16.000 plots was provided, mainly to squatters who had been forcibly removed from other places in the d ty . In spite of the relatively better location of the plot-townships, many squatters evicted from centrally located areas found the new townships too far away from their places of work. Besides, the complete absence of facilities further lessened their attractiveness. It is no wonder that ‘about 50% of the households leave the open-plot site after resettlement’ (MPD 1974, p . 184).



Yet, the option offered in the plot-townships apparently was still viable to large numbers of the poor. Shortly after KDA had started handing over plots in these townships, illegal subdividers begun selling parcels of public land all around the subdivided parts of the area. By now, over one million people are housed in illegal subdivisions around two of the plot-townships. in this way, the townships keep growing up to this day; KDA has taken no more initiatives in these areas after 1969. Karachi’s Development Plan 1974—85, sponsored substantially by the Unit­ ed Nations Development Programme (UNDP), gave a new impetus to the attempts at solving the low-income housing problem. This Development Plan was one of the first official documents pleading for legalization and upgrading of Karachi’s existing squatments and spelling out a programme to this effect. Besides, in order to expand the low-income housing stock, the Development plan also stipulated programmes for development of open plots and utility walls. The two components in fact boil down to two options of an extensive sites-and-services programme. The target was 4 sites-and-services projects (called ‘Metrovilles’) per year, to accommodate the yearly population growth, then estimated at some 200,000 persons. The first Metroville was launched with much pomp and circumstance. A sign at the entrance to the site reads: ‘An Experiment in Human Settlement*. At the 1976 Habitat Conference in Vancouver, the first Metroville was pre­ sented as Pakistan’s showpicce. In spite of all this, in a comparative evaluation of 14 Asian sites-and-services projects Karachi’s Metroville ranks lowest in practically all respects (Swan et al. 1983). In fact, three years after the site opened, not one single allottee was residing in the area; two years later, a total of 11 households resided on their plots (Siddiqi 1983). By now, many more of the plots have been occupied and built u p . However, even at a glance, one can notice that the target group is completely absent. Most households residing in the Metroville live in houses two or three stories high, built of reinforced concrete. Of course, the first thing they did when occupying their plots was to knock down the ‘wet wall’ (i.e the basic initial on-plot service structure) which was of no use in the type of houses these occupants w anted. Causes of the Metroville’s failure include, first of all, the high standards applied. For instance, the planned 75 per cent open-plot component was dropped soon in favour of utility-wall development, which is the more expen­ sive option. In many other respects original plans were also changed, resulting in high infrastructure standards and a substantial reduction of the number of plots. These changes again led to the project moving up-market. At the same time, however, KDA failed to provide facilities, such as water, for a protracted period. By the time water was provided to the area, the sewerage system was no longer in working order. To make things worse, there has been no explicit policy of selling the plots. In practice, there was a strong bias in favour of those who could



afford payment and against those needing assistance in meeting their hous­ ing costs. Complicated procedures for application and registration further reinforced this bias (Oakley & Stubbs 1977, p. 11), while the absence of water excluded people in urgent need of shelter and favoured investors and speculators. Three more Metrovilles have been set up by KDA, bringing the number to four by 1985, instead of the planned target of 44. The results of the other Metrovilles are no better than those of the first one (cf. Nientied 1987, pp. 130-133). Perhaps a main cause of the whole programme’s failure is that KDA never took much interest in i t . Much of the initiative for the programme had come from outside the real power structure (Herbert 1982, p. 105). After 1978, KDA launched a number of major development schemes, part of which at one stage was announced to be destined for low-income groups. In one big scheme, Shah Latif Town, KDA sold plots to applicants by computer ballot: there were fifteen times more applicants than there were plots. In this way, between 1979 and 1981, over 42,000 plots were sold. However, even in 1986, the area was not yet habitable and no allottee was found residing in this huge scheme where no facilities—not even water—had been made available (Nientied 1987, p. 124). The fact that allottees have to wait for between five and fifteen years before they can occupy their plot, already excludes the really poor and attracts investors rather than people needing shelter. Besides, the al­ location procedure discriminates against the poor, as a World Bank document asserts (1984). Another ambitious scheme, Surjani Town, is planned to deliver close to 80,000 plots, most of which are 120 square yards or less. One KDA document mentions that the inhabitants of 72 non-regularizable katchi abadis would be resettled in this scheme (Naeem & Alvi 1984). For this purpose, by the way, the scheme would still be too small. Another document states that KDA will develop 28,586 plots for shiftees from non-regularizable settlements (GOS 1983, pp. 31, 36). In 1983 KDA announced that 10,000 plots in this scheme will be developed and built upon by the private sector. Also, since 1985, the private sector is selling the plots in this scheme. Prices have gone up enor­ mously and it is obvious that the poor cannot afford them. KDA’s disappointing performance in the provision of land for housing the poor is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that of the 106,337 plots which KDA claims to have provided for low-income groups between 1970 and 1984, less than 3,000 were occupied by the end of 1984, in part by others than the target group (Nientied 1987, p . 124). The other component of low-income housing, viz. the legalization and up­ grading programme, provides a picture slightly less bleak. Announcements were made that, subject to certain conditions, the autonomous settlements ex­ isting before January 1st, 1978, could remain undisturbed and would eventu­ ally be legalized and upgraded. Also, these statements have been given power



of law by the promulgation of Martial Law Orders stipulating in detail the institutional arrangements, responsibilities, rules and procedures supporting the upgrading programme. Besides, within Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), a separate Directorate has been created charged with planning of regularization and improvement projects. Most importantly, after one abor­ tive attempt at executing such a project in a central area of the city, fresh projects are being planned and indeed carried o u t. Two of these projects have been analysed extensively (cf. e.g . Nientied et al. 1982; Nientied 1984; Van der Linden 1985; Richartz 1987; Kool et al. 1988). Unfortunately, in both cases, one conclusion is that the term ‘project’ is a misnomer as far as its execution is concerned. In the case of Baldia Township, where a project was announced in 1977, execution finally started in 1981, and ground to a halt in 1985. Over 50 per cent of the plots have not yet been leased and many applications for leases are pending for long periods of time. By 1987, it appeared that inhabitants eager to obtain a lease were facing many difficulties. This led to the emergence of informal lease-brokers who are doing excellent business these days. It should be noted that cost recovery is one of the cornerstones of the project. As cost recovery is being made difficult by the executing agency, one may wonder if the project still exists. Odder still is the situation of another project, also prepared by K M Cs Directorate Katchi Abadis and Evaluation: Ghou&ia Colony. The plan was executed for the most part by the inhabitants themselves without formal ap­ proval . Also, important improvements of the infrastructure have been brought about by KMC: roads and lanes have been metalled, water and sewerage connections were laid. Even by 1987, i.e ., five years after the project was announced and long after the residents fully reshaped their neighbourhood, there is still no decision on the leasing rates. As a result, in this case, legaliza­ tion keeps pending for all the residents and the question of cost recovery does not even arise. Although the project is no doubt beneficial to the inhabitants of the area, the way of (non-)implementation of the policy destroys its own goal, viz. replication on a significant scale.

Cooduslons Although economy is relatively autonomous with respect to politics, policy to redistribute population and to evoke equal regional development can be for­ mulated and implemented as part of the total economic development. Policies are effective to the extent that they control centripetal mechanisms and reduce the urban/industrial bias by revising capital-oriented rural policy. However, migration also has positive effects (cf. Oberai 1983). To that degree forms of rural outflow must be accepted, but they should be guided so that human cost may be prevented as much as possible (cf. Selier 1987).



Some common traits emerged in our analysis of government policies regard­ ing agricultural development, migration and housing. A first characteristic is that to a large degree the authorities in Pakistan have adopted a laissez-faire attitude. Such liberalism has undoubtedly favoured the rich. In the second place, to the extent that policies were formulated and pursued, they have been strongly biased in favour of the rich and have discriminated against the poor. Examples of this include the abolition of agrarian income taxes, the distribution of subsidies and the provision of credit facilities in the country side. On the urban scene, housing projects have mainly benefitted the not-so-poor and the provision of land is geared more towards speculative purposes than to solving low-income housing problems. Thirdly, while policies were adopted which were obviously intended to serve the interests of the poorer sections of the population and were accompanied by much rhetoric, they have not been pursued seriously. The land reforms are a very clear example of this. In the city, the execution of policies of legaliza­ tion and upgrading existing settlements as well as those aiming at an equitable supply of urban land have been frustrated systematically. In the case of the agrarian land reforms we mentioned the loopholes built in the formulation of policy execution. Similarly, in KDA’s land-supply systems built-in discrimina­ tion against the poor can easily be pointed out. It looks as though seemingly progressive policies are adopted only for propaganda purposes. Thus, there appears to be an enormously wide gap between progressive-sounding slogans and the practice of policy implementation. As a result, the government is bound to see its credit amongst the popula­ tion diminish in the long ru n . Typically, while many of the poor have always complained that nobody listens to them, least of all the government, in a recent interview one squatter added that ‘only bullets make them listen’. Indeed, there are signs that polarization is taking place in the villages (cf. Kardar 1987) as well as in Karachi. The ethnic disturbances which continue to upset Karachi in the last few years may be interpreted as one (misguided) outcome of the polarization (cf. also Hasan 1987). *2 Notes 1. Agriculture in the provinces of Baluchistan and Kashmir is almost non-existent. 2. Marginal-small is 12.5 acres or less; medium 12.5-50 acres and large more than 50 acres. 3. This is especially the case in the province of Sind, where 8 per cent of the land­ owners possess more than 40 per cent of the area owned. 4. In the NWFP today still 90 per cent. 5. The category of owners is quite complex. Next to the distinction between large and small owners, there are owners without tenants, owners cum tenants and owners being tenants themselves as well. Keeping tenants does mean that one is a large owner. The group keeping tenants consist of large landlords, small owners



7. 8. 9. 10.




with more land than they are able to cultivate themselves and owners of very little land, which cannot give a decent living. Small owners are in many cases also absentee owners, as the big landlords are. In 1985 Selier interviewed a migrant in Karachi who had started a successful busi­ ness there, after having been a tenant in Sind in charge of 200 acres of land and 50 labourers. In Europe one runs into the same complications: speaking about tenancy can imply referring to the poor peasants as well as to big estate-holders. Historic facts derived from: Khan 1981,Naseem 1981 and Kooiman et al. 1980. They have been summarized in Knoors 1987. Regarding the industry emphasis was placed on capital-intensive industries by subsidizing the import of machinery. The question is whether we witness here a clear connection between policy, econ­ omy and culture, as one could expect that the inheritance system changes towards primogeniture in result of policy trying to influence an economic situation. The common wisdom that the Green Revolution and accompanying mechaniza­ tion led to sharp increases in inequality is, regarding the Punjab of Pakistan and India, challenged through the presentation of statistical evidence by Chaudhri et al. 1985. The Pathans (from the NWFP), now supported by refugees from Afghanistan, even threaten the quantitatively dominant position of the Mohajirs (originally from India), one of the more fundamental causes of the severe ethnic problems of these years. See note 11.

References Chaudhri, D.P. Sc Ajit K. Dasgupta 1985 Agriculture in the development process: a study of the Punjab. Beckenham: Croom Helm. GOS (Government of Sind) 1983 Development plan for Katchi A bodies of Karachi. Karachi: GOS. Hasan, A. 1987 The profits of doom. The Herald, January. Herbert, J.D . 1982 The Karachi Development Programme 1973-85: an interim appraisal. In J . L . Taylor & D . G . Williams (eds. X Urban planning practice in developing countries. Oxford: Pergamon. Hussain, A. 1984 Land reforms in Pakistan: a reconsideration. Bulletin o f Concerned Asian Scholars, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 46-52. Jedraszko, A. 1966 The shelterless and the squatters: problems and planning prospects. Karachi: KDA. Johnson, B. 1979 Pakistan. London: Heineman Educational Books Ltd. Joshi, P.C. 1976 Landhervormingen in India en Pakistan. In G . A. de Bruijne, J . Hardeman & J . J . F . Heins (eds.), Perspectief op Ontwikkeline [Perspective on Develop­ ment!: een bundel studies over vraagstukken van de Derde Wereld. Bussum: Romen. Kardar, Shadid 1987 The political economy of Pakistan. Lahore: Progressive Publishers.



Khan, Mahmood Hasan 1981 Underdevelopment and agrarian structure in Pakistan. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. Knoors, Jos 1987 ‘Ruraal-urbane migratie.* M. A. Thesis University of Amsterdam, Depart­ ment of Cultural Anthropology/Development Sociology. Kooiman, D. et al. 1980 India. Bussum: Unieboek, KooL, M., D. Vcrboom & J. van der Linden 1988 The mid-term effects o f an improvement and legalization programme in Kara­ chi: Baldia after 10years. Lahore: Vanguard. Meyerink, H. 1983 Karachi’s growth in historic perspective. In J.W . Schoorl, J.J. van der Linden & K S. Yap (eds.), Between Basti dwellers and bureaucrats: lessons in squatter settlements upgrading in Karachi. Oxford, Pergamon. MPD (Master Plan Department KDA) 1974 Karachi Development Plan 1974-1985. Karachi, MDP. Naeem,S.A. A S.S.A . Alvi 1984 Karachi, basic information. Karachi, MDP. Naseem,S.M. 1981 Underdevelopment, poverty and inequality in Pakistan. Lahore: Vanguard Publications Ltd. Nientied, P. 1984 The third Baldia upgradingevaluation survey. Urban Research Working Pa­ per, no. 2. Amsterdam: Free University, Institute of Cultural Anthropol­ ogy/Sociology of Development. 1987 ‘Practice and theory of urban policy in the Third World.’ Ph.D. Thesis Free University, Amsterdam. Nientied, P. & I. Kalim 1986 Policy constraints on planning land for low-income groups in Karachi. Habitat International, vol. 10, nos. 1—2, pp. 79-92. Nientied, P.M ., E.N. Meijer & J.J. van der Linden 1982 Karachi sauatter settlement upgrading: improvement and displacement? Am­ sterdam: Free University, InsUtute of Geography and Urban and Regional Planning. Oakley, D. & J. Stubbs 1977 Low-income settlement in Karachi. Karachi, MPD. Oberai, A.S. (ed.) 1983 Land settlement policies and population redistribution in developing countries: achievements, problems and prospects. London: Croom Helm. Population Census Organisation 1984 1981 Census Report of Karachi Division. Islamabad: Government of Pakis­ tan, Statistics Division. Richartz, R. 1987 implementation and impacts of a legalization and improvement project in Karachi: the case of Ghousia Colony.’ M.A. Thesis Free University, Am­ sterdam, Institute of Cultural Anthropology/Sociology of Development. Selier, Frits J.M. 1986 Family and rural-urban migration in Pakistan. The case o f Karachi. Urban Research Working Papers, no. 12, Amsterdam: Free University, Institute of Cultural Anthropology/Sociology of Development.




Rural-urbane migratie en ontwikkelingsbeleid (rural-urban migration and development policy). IMWOO Bulletin, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 15-19.

Siddiai, I. 1983 The implementation of Metroville-I Project in Karachi: a study of the perception of various interest groups. In J.W . Schoorl, J. van der Lin­ den rd is my Shepherd’ the precentor starts to sing about the two murderers on the cross next to Jesus, one of whom is promised that he, too, will enter paradise. One woman bursts into tears and sobs, and a second follows suit. They are the mother and the fostermother. Particularly the latter seems inconsolable. The night has been long, the singing continuous. The normal structuring of consciousness by day-today orientations has worn off slightly. The sense of time has been dull»! by the ongoing stream of events and lack of sleep. Alcohol has done the rest. I, coming for a few nights only, also begin to sense something strangely beauti­ ful in the world immersed in the old-fashioned hymns. The vision of white figures waving palms in heavenly light is in stark contrast to the sordid reality



that surrounds us. What must it be like, then, for those to whom sin, failure and their consequences are all too real now? Orthodoxy seems to provide more adequate answers than any rationalism ever could. Or, the contradic­ tions evoked by the current life-styles cannot be resolved at any lower level of abstraction than that of good old paradise, it seems. The last song is that of musudi (daybreak), meaning that darkness gives way to light. We return home.

The morning after Next day I find myself happily humming hymns. But Rosa is in an entirely different m ood. She has been washing clothes, particularly the ones she wore last night. A dede oso is not agreeable to her winti anyway, so she acted against their injunctions and contracted pollution. She has taken a proper ablution, too. This, however, has not yet lifted her spirits; she is still angry about the treatment she received yesterday. Did you see that woman with the big, bulging eyes last night? Well, she was passing around food, bami. I told her I won’t eat rice, it is my trefii (tabooed food), so would she let me have some more bami. But she looked at me as if I were greed personified. The woman next to me got a plateful, and then she just pecked at it and wanted no more. They put it out to garbage rather than give any of it to me! ‘Who is she, anyway,’ 1 asked, ‘one of the woman’s relatives?’ ‘O h no,’ Rosa said, ‘she is only a mati (lesbian friend); it is a whole nest of m ati there, as they all favour each other. If one does not belong to their crowd, they even grudge you a bite of plain food. * Surinamese are full of ‘partialities’. Rosa is one of the few women I know who is dead set against mati relationships. In her view, the winti disapprove of these. Such emotional entanglements will bring nothing but defilement. And she goes on, haranguing about the evils a mati may do to one, citing numerous bad examples. Then Eva arrives. She also is deeply wounded and indignant. But she in­ veighs against the corpse-washers. Did you not notice the upset about the cake? One of them started to share out portions, but then the chairman had yelled from the other side of the room—that they had to start with all three cakes at the same time, and offer pieces to members of the guild first. And so they did. Eva and Rosa chime in: They won’t share the food they have! And did you see the enormous pans in the kitchen? There was bami, rice, bananas, soup. Some people were encouraged to take away boxes full of food. Is this a mourning visit? It is more like a catering service! And who was that woman who did not even deign to eat what was offered to her? She has a child by the dead boy’s father; she had to bring her son to take proper leave of his half-brother. He is too young still to come all alone. But she would be afraid to eat there. Her man and the dead boy’s mother are still married, only she left him and moved to Amsterdam because of his philandering.’ The mother,



1 gather, is complaining too: about the many people who want to take food home; they have taken away all her tupperware. I wonder about something else. How do these people manage to supply their guests with such vast quantities of food and drink, night after night, day after day? People must has« consumed for thousands of guilders. The mother lives on an allowance which she supplements by way of an occasional odd job, and other relatives seem hardly better off. Eva makes light of this: she waves her arms into the air saying: ‘But everyone helps her!’ And also: •Some help the corpse-washers, others help the mother, the father also has many relations’. In other words, all key figures are central in a network of relationships and all can muster support. But even so, most of these relations can hardly be called well-to-do. The night of the eighth day iaiti de) follows the same pattern. This is a conclusion of the dede oso proper. Ritual action will be resumed at siksi wiki, at least that is what can be expected. To our amazement another ritual night session is announced for the following week, on Wednesday, March 4. Such a new night would make a ‘fifteenth day\ a cultural innovation. We duly go there in order to avoid gossip. We had been invited to Grace's birthday party, so we have to accept this invitation as well. But Eva starts muttering: 'It is untraditional; it is only wasting money, affectation pure and simple. That woman and her ‘bereavement’ are only used as an occasion to show off. * Rosa draws attention lo the many quarrels that surround the whole thing: the kinsmen there are not on speaking terms or they insult each other. Grace has had words with her brother who is a Mafia-type, and does all sorts of ‘business’. When we are summoned again, for the night of March 11, Rosa refuses to go. But she is sure there has been a gathering, people asking her next day where she was. Eva was there: ‘She had to,’ Rosa explained to me, ‘for Eva had borrowed money from one of the corpse-washers, to go to Surinam last year.’ Even so, she had to be intercepted. She was on her way to a friend. People dressed her in a proper blue dress and off she went to the dede oso. In that way they managed to assemble enough guests, Rosa said, to make the wake something of a success. Abruptly, that night, an interruption occurred. Suddenly news was whis­ pered around. The dead boy’s father, the sponsor of the ritual, had been detained by the police. ‘Stuff was found in his place, a coffee house in Rot­ terdam. Though he had denied the drugs were his, it had not helped him. Eva thinks he would have gone free if only he had spoken of his son’s death. Upon hearing the news, the boy’s mother had fainted. It had been too much for her, first her son’s death, now her husband in ja il. The string of rites is halted. The end is marked by a private church service in De nieuwe stad, a church and community place used for such purposes. This turns out to be an occasion mainly for the guild of corpse-washers to



stress their importance. N ot many people are present, and afterwards there is coffee and tea for sale. This is more or less an anti-climax. In a short sermon the preacher stresses that our hope should rest on the resurrection of the dead. The foster-mother of the dead boy tries to dissuade his young friends from following in his footsteps and suffer a similar fate.

Epilogue Her plea can hardly be expected to yield fruit. As discussed above, the ap­ peal of a bad, but exciting lifestyle and its ample remuneration has no real match in respectability, at least not for the lower socio-economic classes. As the policemen, quoted in the introductory pages, have noted, there is a cult of dangerous living, violence and spending among the young. They draw in­ spiration from the example set by older relatives. The drugs-scene has a spin­ off effect on those not directly involved. The financial success demonstrated there is accepted as a norm by others, at least by many of the young. Attempts to solve the drugs and drugs-related problems flounder at the am­ bivalence of those who gain by what they condemn. There is a material basis for the lasting alliance between dealers and kinsmen, because the latter have to protect the former from being caught by the police. Traditional secrecy about one’s economic doings and the source of one’s money come in handy here. Mothers and other relatives are often sincerely shocked when told of the offense for which their sons or next-of-kin are jailed. In many cases they do not know how their relatives make a living; they are rarely told and do not want to know. Now and then, a man will slip some banknotes into the hands of his mother and sisters. They will gratefully accept, without asking ques­ tions. Mostly, then, mothers get stuck in vain and vague harangues against all sorts of evil dealings. As long as things go well and people get by, everyone concerned leaves it at that. When disaster strikes, however, the underlying tensions and conflicts come to the surface and into awareness. People realize what their makeshift ar­ rangements lead to. Prevalent notions like ‘boys will be boys’ will no longer do. To attack the problem at the roots would entail an economic reorientation that is highly unwelcome to all concerned. This is, I think, the underlying reason why the ‘solution’ chosen is a ritual one. The problem is diagnosed in religious terms: ‘Man is a sinful being who has to suffer and to atone.' Thus the matter can be tackled in an indirect, familiar way, which saves ap­ pearances. This is also the reason, I suppose, why the religious solution is an orthodox one and why this social class sticks to the old-fashioned viewpoints. In this group men cannot afford to be rational, liberal creatures feeling justi­ fied and sure of finding favour in the eyes of either God or society at large. The definition of the situation, while patently a disguise, makes sense at the same time. Asad’s (1983) assumption that religion is created through power



seems inapplicable here. It is not even lack of power that occasions religion; it is rather the awareness that one lives in a predicament one can or will not solve by rational m eans. None of the parties involved has an interest in rationality. Hence also, I suppose, the stress on passivity to be noted throughout the ritual procedures. There is another reason for emphasizing passivity: the therapeutic meaning of the rites (cf. Van der Hart 1984, p. 244). The liminal period of mourning gives the participants a chance to let emotions rise to the surface and to come to terms with them . The ritual shows a continuous process of confrontation and diversion of attention. The patience with which ‘signs’ are awaited and noted is a guarantee against the skipping of some im portant aspect which, if neglected, might manifest itself in a more harmful way later on. The latter consideration will not detract from an analysis in terms of power relations. It is clear that dealers have considerable leverage over poorer rela­ tions. Yet, this form of power is naked, unlegitimized and often resented. By striking a deal with a guild of corpse-washers, who belong to the lower echelons of the respectable Christian world, dealers achieve some legitimacy. By sponsoring a ritual that sustains a shared world view, they both legiti­ mize and dramatize their power. The position of the corpse-washers is also strengthened: the guild is enabled to preside over a long sequence of ritual proceedings that unite the group. In the end, the corpse-washers appear to have benefitted most. By overdoing things, the sponsors have caused some ‘ritual inflation’, however, and actually marred the impression they were hoping to create. The respect paid to ‘tradition’ in its fully ambiguous sense must also be looked at from this angle. On the one hand, subversive and threatening ele­ ments submit to the legitimate authority of the servants of the Supreme Deity. At the same time, it is made clear that the ancestors, well-versed in the ways of the world, full of trickery and deceit, do not forsake their descendants even if these obviously stray from the straight and narrow. Ambiguity has been built into the whole syncretist enterprise. In political anthropology, much is made of the conscious manipulation of symbols on the part of powerful figures or contending parties. As has been shown, I hope, there is ample scope for this type of analysis here. Neverthe­ less, there is also cause to take issue with some of its implicit assumptions. If, in this field, attention turns to religious phenomena at all, a touch of western middle-class skepticism creeps in almost at once. The realm of the religious symbols and hence their potency is rarely taken into proper account. This may be partly due to the fact that the specialism has matured by studying the macro-level of society, where large-scale, male-dominated organizations and strategic calculations prevail. Power differences tend to be great here. This prejudice is, for instance, fostered in Mediterranean studies. In this re­ gion, elite groups can afford to stand apart from the common lot with their



tears, visions and bleeding knees or other epiphenomena of procession and pilgrimage. Emotions—as the explanation tends to run—are reserved for the weak, the women and the downtrodden who, by demonstrative behaviour, implicitly acknowledge their having succumbed to manipulative efforts. This approach is inadequate when applied to groups where power differ­ ences are smaller, also among males. Among the lower classes in the AfroCaribbean societies, a mediterranean aloofness would hardly be tolerated. As a rule, the bow before tradition has been deeper. Men have to show in­ volvement in one way or another. In the ritual described here they do so by enthusiastically singing Christian hymns for nights at a stretch. Moreover, nothing in their overt attitude betrays skepticism, and I even doubt whether they are skeptics. Within the closed circles of male hang-outs, the tone may be different, but then again, the respectable aspects of religion seem not to loom large in conversation anyway. As far as can be ascertained, all participants share in the emotional aspects of the rite. The power game is not played by sponsors only. The assembled retinue tries to take an active part. All attempt to get as much out of the occasion as they can, and drag their feet when the gains run below expectation. But the ritual is more than a tug-of-war: it is also an attempt to reconcile the irrecon­ cilable. Only at the abstract level of orthodox belief a solution is conceived for a dilemma that is a t the root of the dram a. The string of rituals depicts rather than solves it, though. Given the precarious position of all participants, it could hardly be otherwise. A lack of ambiguity is a luxury reserved for a middle class that can afford to break with a shady past, start with a clean slate and successfully strive at psychological unification. Notes 1. Het Parool, April 10, 1987. 2. Kun je nog zingen, zing dan mee is an album which contains many of these songs. In some borrowings, only the melody is taken, in others people stick to the lyncs, but quite often too the combination is used. 3. The Dutch lyrics are: ‘Onder de brag van Anke Franke/ daar verkoopt men eikenhout/ maar dat bout dat wil niet branden/ jonge, jonge, wat verdriet/ koop bij Anke Franke niet!’ 4. From the above-mentioned source: *’t Zonnetje gaat van ons scheiden’ (‘Sunset’); ‘Klein vogellijn op groene tak’ (‘Little bird on a green branch’; or ‘Knaapje zag een roosje staan’ (‘A boy stumbled upon a rose’ or, in German, 'Heidenröslein from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe). The latter song touches upon a subject which looms large in winti religion: injustice done to nature, powers trespassed upon, insulted and thus prone to revenge (cf. Schneider 1987). It is interesting to note that people from another culture are so quick to decode the symbolism.




Asad, Talal 1983 Anthropological conceptions of religion: reflections on Geertz. Man (NS), vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 237-59. Buschkens, W .F .L . 1974 Thefamily life of the Paramaribo Creoles. Verhandelingen van bet Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkundc 71. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. Brana-Shute, Rosemary & G u y Brana-Shute 1977 A death in the family. Mourning rituals in a Creole community. Mededelinger of the Suriname Museum. Monograph Series 21. Coster, A . M .

De boschnegers in de kolonie Suriname. Bijdragen tot de T a a lL a n d en Volkenkunde, no. 3, pp. 1-36. Hart, Onno van der 1984 Rituelen inpsychotherapie: cnergang en bestendiging. Deventer: Van Loghum Slaterus. Herskovits, M .J. & F.S . Herskovits 1936 Surinam folklore. New York: AMS Press (1969). Jones, J.F . 1981 Kwakoe en Christus. Brussels: Universitaire Protestantse Faculteit (Ph. D. thesis). Leerdam, H. 1956 Onze boslandbewoners. De West, December 24th. Schneider, Jane 1987 Spirits and the spirit of capitalism. Conference paper ‘Religious regimes and state formation’. Amsterdam, Free Universtity. Schoonheym, P. 1980 Je geld ofje leven. Utrecht: Instituut voor Culturele Antropologie. Schoorl, J.W . 1974 Sociologie der modemisering. Deventer: Van Loghum Slaterus. Wooding, C .J. 1973 Winti: een Afroamerikaanse godsdienst in Suriname. Meppel: Krips Repro. 1866

14 Autonomy and Women’s Groups The New Key to Theory and Policy on Women and Development? Lillian van Wesemael-Smit'

In recent years the theme of ‘Women and Development* is studied from a new perspective. Since the 1970s there is a growing awareness that women play an essential role in the process of development and facts about that role are surfacing. The contribution to development on the part of women is now understood as going far beyond the performance of household chores. It was ‘discovered’ that women often participate intensively in the production process. Poor families cannot survive without the income or the products ob­ tained in this way. This is especially true of so-called ‘female-headed’ house­ holds . Development projects frequently ignore the role of women and often marginal¡7/; them. These facts are gradually acknowledged in policy-making as well. As a re­ sult, the position of women is a newly introduced topic in recommendations for Dutch developmental policy (see NAR 1980, p. 48; Boesveld et al. 1985, p. 1; N A R 1985, p. 20; NAR 1986, p. 17). The central issue in the most recent recommendations is ‘autonomy’ for women, primarily to be realized through support of women’s groups. But what is autonomy? Against what background should this concept be understood? These are the crucial ques­ tions posed in this chapter. When reflecting on matters of policy entailed by the theme of Women and Development, one is soon led to ask what women themselves see as their interests. Besides expressing a preference for autonomy—which, as I see it, necessarily involves a transformation of the asymmetrical power relationships between the sexes—women also point to the importance of improvement of their daily living conditions. I think that, to do justice to the wide variety of women’s interests, it is better to speak of improvement in the position of © Free University Press, 1988



women, rather than to refer to autonomy alone. It certainly seems correct that improvement in the position of women is the central theme in the Dutch policy for Women and Development (cf. NAR 1980, 1985 and 1986, and Ministerie van Ontwikkelingssamenwerking 1987). In this chapter I present some theoretical reflections concerning the way this can take shape. Also, some questions will be posed regarding the possibilities for bringing about improvement in the position of women by way of women’s groups. Data from research in India and Latin America will be used to illustrate.

The road from integration to autonomy For a time the effort to achieve ‘integration’ of women was considered to be the core issue in Women and Development. Since the early 1980s this integration strategy is subjected to strong criticism. This criticism forms the background to the emergence of the autonomy approach, as will be explained below. The emergence o f the integration approach The attention paid to Women and Development at both university and policy­ making levels is still fairly recent (cf. Postel-Coster 1985; Lenten 1986). As stated by Postel-Coster: . . . at the beginning of the Women’s Dccade [1976-1985]... the ‘invisibility’ of women, their enforced backwardness in a number of fields, and above all, their increasing economic dependence had but recently come to notice as a world-wide problem. (Postel-Coster 1985, p. 23) Various events have contributed to the increase in attention. The second wave of feminism forms the context in which the plight of women is explicitly ad­ dressed. Especially the UN World Conference of Women in Mexico (1975) significantly stimulated efforts to make the role and work of women visible. Boserup’s study (1970) entitled Women’s role in economic development is one of the first analyses of the position of women in development. Besides the numerous case-studies which have appeared since, Rogers’s book The domes­ tication o f women has also made an important contribution to ideas on policy towards Women and Development. Rogers shows that women play an important role in development processes, but also that development processes often have negative results for women. Western ideological views regarding the division of labour between the sexes are highly influential in this respect, especially the norms which stipulate that men are the breadwinners and women ‘naturally* are housewives and mothers. The nuclear family with husband, wife and children is taken as the starting-point. The productive tasks of women and the fact that many women are breadwinners are ignored by the planners. Consequently, many develop­ ment projects initiate a process which Rogers designates as ‘domestication of



women'. This expression has a double meaning. It indicates the trend that economically independent women are becoming materially dependent on men, and the creation of the image of women as housewives, irrespective of their productive tasks (cf. Postel-Coster 1983). Boserup’s and Rogers’s books sound the call for the integration of women into development. Women in their role of producers must be included in de­ velopment projects. Their lag in practical knowledge and schooling must be made good by means of education and training. The development model of the capitalist countries is implicitly taken as the point of departure. These ideas have also found acceptance with those who design the poli­ cies. Development organizations of the United Nations, such as the United Nations Development Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Bank, pay explicit attention to them. As stated by Lenten (1986, p. 22), however, this happens because women are seen as instruments rather than as agents of development. The emphasis lies on the potential usefulness of women for the success of development projects. Although Rogers, for one, keeps harping on the need for ideological change, these organizations tend to ignore the issue. In this chapter this policy of the development organizations will be referred to as ‘integration strategy’. Criticism o f the integration strategy In the early 1980s this integration strategy, only recently developed and but partially implemented in the policies of development organizations, was al­ ready exposed to criticism. Thomas-Lycklama (1984, pp. 2 -6 ) raises a num­ ber of salient points which are reiterated in the recommendations of the Dutch National Advisory Council for Development Co-operation concerning Women and Development (NAR 1985, pp. 1-2). Put briefly, the criticism amounts to this: (a ) The integration strategy is not based on a theoretical analysis of the m an-w om an relationship. This means among other things that this strategy is based on the misconception that women have not been integrated into de­ velopment. Historical analyses and socio-scientific research, however, show otherwise. The notion that only men earn money for the support of their wives and children is superseded as well. In many instances women are the sole breadwinners for their families (cf. Boesveld 1985, pp. 3 6 -7 ). And if a man’s earnings are insufficient for the survival of the family, the women and, frequently, the children too, play an important role in augmenting the income. In those cases where men and women each are responsible for specific family expenses, it is essential that women have their own income. But it appears that women’s earnings, even for identical work, are usually lower than men’s, (cf. Boesveld 1985, pp. 36-7). Women are assigned an inferior position not only economically, but also ideologically and politically. This is linked with the m an-w om an relationship



which is usually such that women have less (formal) power than men: an asymmetrical power relationship between the sexes. The fact that the relative power of men and women differs according to time, place and content must be taken into consideration. In short, the absence of integration is not the cause of women’s inferior position in development; rather, the manner of integration leads to inferiority, since it causes women to become increasingly marginalized. The integration strategy ignores the unequal, asymmetrical m an-w om an relationship. (b) Another point of criticism is that, in practice, integration of women means: integration into a society determined by men on conditions laid down by men. Because of this, equality between men and women can never arise. Women remain dependent on the political goodwill o f m en. (c) A third critical observation can be put in the form of a question. Is development in general and the sort of ‘development’ which is actually taking place truly to the advantage oi women? This point is typically raised in con­ nection with the adoption of the capitalist development model (cf. Beneria Sc Sen 1981; Banderage 1984). Boulding puts it this way: Integration into what? What kind of world do women want? That is the question to be asking, not how women can be integrated into development. . . Women have only recently been asking what they want, because they have been so busy adapting to what men want. (Boulding in Inomas-Lycklama 1984, p. 6)

( d) Finally there is a criticism to be made on the practical results of inte­ gration strategy. Most development projects still fail to include the integra­ tion of women. To the extent that they do, concern is usually with incomegenerating projects. But when this is not accompanied by a reduction of the workload in other areas of women’s work, or with a redivision of the tasks between men and women, the results for women are not always beneficial. The consequence is, of course, an increase in workload, while this is not neces­ sarily compensated for by a commensurate rise in income (cf. Rogers 1980, pp. 8 5 -7 ; Dubel 1983, p . 33). Projects aimed at the introduction of laboursaving technology do not always work out favourably for women either. The mechanization or commercialization of activities edges women o u t. Men take over the activity and the wages which go with it (cf. Ahmed 1985). Most projects do not lead to independent access to the aid source. Thus women remain dependent. On account of these points of criticism, feminists from the Third World and the West claim that not integration but women’s autonomy must be placed at the centre of development processes.



A note on autonomy The call for autonomy on the part of women is, I said, also heard at policy­ making level. As a result, the asymmetrical m an-w om an relationship is re­ ceiving attention as well. It is the emphasis on this relationship which sets autonomy apart from integration strategy. I offer a sketch of the meaning and theoretical background of the autonomy concept. Autonomy, a new concept Reaction to this ‘new* concept ‘autonomy for women’ has been enthusiastic.3 In many publications (NAR 1985 and 1986; Boesveld et al. 1985; PostelCoster 1985; Schrijvers 1985; Sen & Grown 1985; Vargas Valente 1986) it is a key concept. At last we may have a concept with which the problems of women can be tackled and by which the success of women’s projects can be measured. But employment of the concept of autonomy is not completely without problems. First: what does autonomy mean? A definition of autonomy in use especially in the Netherlands has been formulated by Thomas-Lycklama. She states: By autonomy is meant, in general, not a sort of separatist movement or dissociation from the rest of society, but rather the creation or space for the realization of one’s own ideas concerning people and society. Autonomy is a relative concept. It implies more control over one’s own life and one’s own body with respect to other people, men in this case, and to other structures of society. (Thomas-Lycklama 1984, p. 11, transl. Hamaker)

The most important part of this definition is perhaps the phrase ‘control over one’s own life and body with respect to other people’. One aspect of this can be distinguished as individual control, in the sense that every woman as an individual can determine independently what shall happen to her body and in her life (cf. Mies 1986, p. 40). This aspect will be referred to from now on as the right to self-determination. Another aspect which can be distinguished is collective control: women must be able to stand up for the interests that they share as females and be able to shape society. I shall refer to this aspect as co-partnership (cf. NAR 1985, p. 30; also quoted in Boesveld et al. 1986, p. 19). Thomas-Lycklama rightly states that autonomy is not a separatist movement. This differentiation of the term autonomy is useful, since in every­ day speech, radical groups which place themselves outside the existing rules and agreements are frequently referred to as ‘the autonomists’. This mostly has a negative connotation. Equally correct is the observation that it is a matter of a relative concept. After all, in the social sciences we are concerned with relative concepts only. Thomas-Lycklama’s definition, however, does not tell us how to to apply the term autonomy. The first part of it seems to be related to movements, organizations. The second part refers to persons, individual women. These



two levels are not distinguished clearly (cf. Maassen van den Brink 1987, pp. 26—7). Are we dealing with the autonomy of movements, of individual women, or of both? For the sake of clarity it would, in this connection, be better to speak of the autonomy of movements, ‘organizational autonomy’, and of the autonomy of women, ‘women’s autonomy*.4 The latter refers to the freedom of women in terms of self-determination and co-partnership. As regards organizational autonomy the central issue is that of the independence of organizations in which women are united. Mies defines as follows: . . . a struggle concept which was developed to demonstrate that women wanted to separate from mixed, male-dominated organizations and to form their autono­ mous organizations, with their own analysis, programmes and methods. (Mies 1986, pp. 4 0 -D

Organizational autonomy has long formed an important issue for the women’s movement. In Peru discussion about autonomy has been going on since the early 1970s; specifically, the issue here was the autonomy of the women’s movement and of women’s groups with respect to political parties (cf. Van Wesemael-Smit 1985, pp. 65 -9 ). In the 1980s a new point of discussion has been added, autonomy with respect to (western) donor organizations. Obviously, organizational autonomy and women’s autonomy are closely interwoven, since from within autonomous organizations women can put for­ ward their specific interests concerning, for example, women’s autonomy. Be­ low I will comment on this more extensively. Right now it is important to see how these women’s interests and women’s autonomy are constituted. The theoretical and political background Women’s autonomy has been put forward as a fundamental women’s inter­ est. The essential concepts are self-determination and co-partnership—the very things which women throughout the world are denied. The autonomy approach asserts that this is due to the asymmetrical man—woman relation­ ship. The basis of this m an-w om an relationship is a difference in power. So it is not surprising that power is referred to in theoretical backgrounds to autonomy. TTiis emerges most clearly in the publications of Postel-Coster (1985b) and Schrijvers (1985). Schrijvers develops it as follows: The possibility of withdrawal from the exercise of power by others is indicated by the term autonomy. A person is autonomous if, in comparison to others, he or she can largely decide independently on matters concerning the own destiny or life. . . The principal difference between the two concepts, I feel, is the goal or the direction of the controlling action that is brought into focus. Power refers primarily to the control of others, whereas autonomy refers to control of one’s own life and one’s body with regard to others, in this case males, and with regard to the structure of society. (Thomas-Lycklama 1984, p. 11.; transl. J.S .). It also indicates a certain immunity vis-à-vis the actions of others. It is evident that the two concepts are interdependent: a powerful person has a hijjh degree of autonomy, and a person aiming at autonomy needs a lot of power. (Schrijvers 1985, p. 19)



Schrijvers p a n ts out that there are qualitative differences between power and autonomy. In doing this she makes use of Weber’s definition of power, which states that: . . . power is the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance, regardless of the basis on which this probability rests. (Weber 1947, p. 152; quoted in Schrijvers 1985, p. 17)

She also claims that there is a connection between power and autonomy. The precise connection between them constitutes an important matter for con­ sideration within feminist anthropology at the moment. Central to this is the following question. If a person needs power to be autonomous, is this not at the expense of the autonomy of others? It seems to me that there is a dubious relationship between power in the Weberian sense and autonomy, that is, be­ tween the probability that an actor carries out his or her own will despite resistance, and the possibility of self-determination and co-partnership. Next to an analysis of the present situation which concentrates particularly on the asymmetrical man—woman relationship between the sexes, a modelfo r the future underlies the autonomy concept as well. Ideas for a different future often form a source of inspiration for research and analysis. This is especially evident in Schrijvers. She states: Autonomy in the sense of room for self-determination and self-respect is distinct from power only if it is not gained at the cost of someone else’s room for selfdetermination and self-respect. Logically, this only can be possible in a society which is basically egalitarian, in which all men and women have equal access to the means of production and equal status, and in which the vulnerability and depen­ dence of young children does not lead to their oppression and exploitation but to the encouragement and support of those qualities that are needed for their future autonomy. (Schrijvers 1985, p. 235)

Schrijvers gives here the normative, ethical background to concepts such as power and autonomy. By this we can see, ideally speaking, which direction society should take. Since the theories of the ‘Frankfurter Schule’ a great crack has appeared in the image of objective, value-free science (cf. Hoefnagels 1973). And in women’s studies the idea that objectivity and value-free science are impossible is frequently adopted and developed (cf., for instance, Mies 1982b, c). Within anthropology this is also focussed on by Leach (1984) in an article with the striking title ‘Glimpses of the unmentionable in the history of British social anthropology*.3 It is, perhaps, typical for feminist anthropolo­ gists that the unmentionable is nevertheless mentioned, and that they often make their ideas, ideals and visions of the future explicit in advance. In prac­ tice this leads to fruitful but sometimes heated debates. One of those discussions is about that future image of autonomy. Espe­ cially the danger of ethnocentrism is pointed to. In this criticism autonomy is equated with the desire for a great measure of independence for the indi­ vidual . Is this not bound up with the continual increase of individualization



of western society? This comment on autonomy is voiced both within the women’s movement and outside of it (cf. Boschman et al. 1985, p. 100 and Mies 1986, p . 40). It is true that, particularly with regard to improvement in the position of women, respect for a certain culture is characteristically advanced as an ar­ gument for leaving the existing m an-w om an relationships unchanged. This ‘cultural relativism’ (Schrijvers 1983) is then used to justify and uphold the present situation where women are subordinate to m en. Further, it is some­ times suggested that autonomy is a purely western concept. Still, women from the Third World especially are the ones who advocate it. It is an important topic in the feminist movement at the international level. Jain6 elaborates on part of the preceding criticism as follows: You cannot generalize and say that the West is an individualized society and India is not. Some of our traditions and especially our most important religion, Hinduism, place the individual in the centre. You need no churcn, you need only to purify yourself. . . According to the Bhagavat Gita, the Hindu scriptures, the individual is responsible for his own purification, for his search for salvation, still for this he needs the community. (Jain in Roefs 1985, p. 157)

I should add a last comment on this criticism of placing the individual at the centre, for it is not the only aspect of autonomy. After all, besides indi­ vidual control over one’s own life and body in the form of the right to selfdetermination, it is also a question of collective control, of co-partnership in shaping society. This can mean that the right to self-determination is a pro­ minent issue in individual women’s interests. But we shall have to take into account the fact that in each society different ideal pictures can exist, in which the individual will not always be at the centre (cf. Schrijvers 1985, pp. 235—6 and Mies 1986, p. 40). Thus, in operationalizing autonomy the starting point must always be the specific context in which women are placed in a particular society. In a definition of autonomy, then, room must be left for different world-views. The virtue of the concept of autonomy is that it has drawn attention to the asymmetrical power relationship between the sexes. I take this to be the es­ sence of the autonomy concept. And in this lies its distinctiveness as compared to other interests brought forward by women. At the same time, the impor­ tant observation has been made that a definition of autonomy must allow for different philosophies on a desirable future. Bearing these things in mind, I arrive at the following definition: Autonomy is the ability to share in shaping and controlling society (co-partner­ ship) and to exercise self-determination with respect to one’s own life and body; prerequisite for such autonomy is a change in the asymmetrical rela­ tionship between the sexes.



Improvement in the position of women Autonomy, then, is a central interest for women. Yet it seems problematic to employ (the struggle for) autonomy as the most important concept in studies and policy with regard to Women and Development. After all, the women’s movement does more than merely argue the importance of autonomy and its implied change in the asymmetrical power relations between the sexes. Women advance other interests as well. Explicit attention should be paid to these, since speaking of improvement in the position of women includes more possibilities than speaking of women’s autonomy does. Policy makers, too, are speaking of improvement in the position of women. In this section I offer some theoretical reflections which, I hope, will clarify the variety in interests which have been put forward by the women’s movement.7 Interests in the women’s movement By way of campaigns and actions the women’s movement calls attention to a multiplicity of interests and desires. The emphasis does not always lie on autonomy. Certainly in the case of women from the poor classes, improvement o f daily living conditions is put forward as being crucially important (cf. Von Werlhof 1980, p. 33; Van Wesemael-Smit 1985, p. 9; Keuper et al. 1986, p. 2). In Latin America this is the main issue in the struggle of lower-class women and their organizations. These daily living conditions can be described as those circumstances in which the basic needs of human life are rooted. The question arises as to why women find improvement in living conditions so important. In the division of labour between the sexes women have the day-to-day responsibility for looking after their families. When the government is not able to create adequate facilities for this, women move into action. This is espe­ cially true of poor women, as, for example, Molyneux (1985, p. 233) points out. But the social formation must be such that women have enough freedom of movement. This was the case in Cusco, Peru. There the women from the slums took decisive action to realize facilities for drinking water in twenty districts, and the opening of a health centre and a kindergarten. With their own hands they built a house containing these amenities, facilities which were important not only for the women concerned, but for their entire families.8 It appears that we cannot speak of the ‘women’s movement’ as a movement in which autonomy is the most important theme. As Vargas Valente (1986, p. 6) claims for the Peruvian women’s movement, there is a great pluriformity of women’s organizations and the interests which are formulated by these dif­ ferent women’s organizations are sometimes even contradictory. Nevertheless, one should not exaggerate the divergence. After all, if improvement in living conditions brings with it a change in the power relationships between the



sexes, then this leads to women’s autonomy. Similarly, attainment of women’s autonomy can lead to improvement in the daily living conditions. How can we understand the intricate composition of the women’s movement and the occurrence of widely varying interests? Views regarding the ‘new so­ cial movements’9 may bring clarity here. Thus Laclau (1985, pp. 30-7) states that the central characteristic of the new social movements is the fact that ‘an ensemble of subject positions . . . become points of conflict and political mobilisation’ (Laclau 1985, p . 32). The relation between these different positions is far from being obvious and per­ manent; it is rather the result of complex political constructions which are based on the totality of social relations and which cannot be derived unilaterally from the relations of production. (Laclau 1985, p. 28)

These subject positions can be constituted not only by the ‘classic’ class struggle but also by various forms of cultural, racial and sexual subordination, by housing and by the position in the institutional apparatus. In the present context the most important arguments advanced by Laclau are that: -so cial movements are composed on the basis of various points of conflict; -so cial agents bear with them a multitude of interests, based on the position they have with respect to the social contradictions in society. Laclau’s ideas are hardly novel. After all, it has long been made obvious by the women’s movement that besides gender interests, class interests also play a role (cf. Bujra 1978). Chinchilla (1977, pp. 85—6), for instance, says that every struggle for women’s interests is accompanied by a particular ideology concerning the composition of the social classes. This ideology can be based on liberal, radical or socialist ideas. Nevertheless, Laclau’s theoretical scheme goes further. It allows the con­ clusion that actions are occasioned not only by the contradictions between the sexes and classes, but also, for example, by contradictions based on race, housing, environment and so o n . With respect to women’s interests I conclude that these are related to women’s position not only because of their gender identity, but also because of other social contradictions in a given society. Women’s identity is compounded from a great number of positions with regard to different social contradictions. In the present-day women’s movement this can also be seen. An example is Janwadi Mahila Samiti (JMS), an active and sizeable women’s organization in Delhi, India. One of the central organizers of JMS formulates it as follows: We organize women as women, as members of a (working) class and as citizens. Apart from problems women face independent of their class, such as sexual harass­ ment, rape and bridebuming, we also nave to deal with problems as citizens, such as difficulties concerning water, electricity, public transport and so on. JMS is or­ ganized from within residential areas. (Menon 1987, p . 66)



JMS bases its work on the needs which women themselves report. Many problems arise from the bad living conditions of the women. Local JMSgroups are often formed during campaigns. Women from South Delhi, for example, were active in the protest against the pollution caused by a pitch factory in that area. In this they received support from JMS. On December 3,1986, in combination with the commemoration of the gas disaster in Bhopal in 1984, the local JMS-group was formed. Women organize themselves in JMS not only as women, but also because of the contradictions in their living conditions. These aspects are closely bound up with each other in cases of concrete action. When, for example, women leave their homes to take part in a demonstration for cheaper rations, they simultaneously challenge the norm which says that a woman’s place is in the home rather than in public life (cf. Menon 1987). Gender interests We see, then, that within the women’s movement one encounters much di­ versity. To what extent can a coherence be discerned among these varied interests? Molyneux (1985) has made a valuable contribution to the analysis of women’s interests. Her view on their composition is as follows: Because women are positioned within their societies through a variety of different means—among them, class, ethnicity and gender—the interests they have as a group are similarly shaped in complex and sometimes conflicting ways. It is therefore difficult, if not impossible, to generalize about the interests of women. Instead, we need to specify how the various categories of women might be affected differently on account of the peculiarities of the social positioning and their chosen idenuties. However, this is not to deny that women may have certain general interests in common. These can be called gender interests to differentiate tnem from the false homogeneity imposed by the notion of women’s interests. (Molyneux 1985, p. 232) Tliese gender interests, too, fomi a complex whole. That is why Molyneux, and also Moser and Levy, divide them still further into practical gender in­ terests and strategic gender interests. Their ideas are reproduced below. Strategic gender interests are derived from the analysis of women’s subordi­ nation and from the formulation of a more satisfactory alternative to existing arrangements. They are concerned above all with themes of women’s libera. tion and gender equality. Ethical and theoretical criteria play an important role in this. Realization of the strategic gender interests demands a radical reshaping of society. In some cases feminists consider strategic gender inter­ ests to be the ‘true’ women’s interests, thereby ignoring the importance of the practical gender interests. In contrast to strategic interests, practical gender interests are derived from practice rather than from theory. They arise directly out of the daily living conditions; women themselves report what is relevant in their own specific context (see Molyneux 1985, pp. 230-5; Moser & Levy 1986, pp. 6—9).



A comment seems in order here regarding the idea that feminists often con­ sider strategic gender interests to be the 'true* women’s interests. While this has been the case in the past, according to the present-day feminist movement this view is now out-dated. Vargas Valente (1986, p. 24), of the Peruvian women’s organization Flora Tristan, declares, for example, that it is in fact essential for the feminist movement to take the practical gender interests as starting point and to work for the realization of these. Another comment is needed on the statement that strategic gender interests are, initially, deduced interests. The statement gives the impression that they are not linked to the practice of the women’s movement. But it is in the women’s movement itself that women’s studies originate. Women’s studies are built on insights gained in practical experience. Moreover, the general aim pursued by feminist scholars is to acquire knowledge which can be used by the women’s movement. It is therefore difficult to make a rigid distinction between concepts formed deductively and those arrived at empirically. How does one distinguish between strategic and practical gender interests? And what is the difference between women’s interests and gender interests? Neither Molyneux nor Moser and Levy give a clear answer to these ques­ tions . Just as Laclau states with respect to social agents in general, Molyneux declares that women bring forward a diversity of interests, depending on their position in society and their identity as based on a particular contradiction. Basic to the distinction between women’s interests and gender interests is a difference in the points of conflict and interest which are bound up with specific social contradictions in society and the social identity accompanying them. Women’s interests, as referred to by Molyneux, are formed by con­ tradictions other than those based on gender identity. As previously stated, these contradictions can involve class, ethnicity, living conditions, and so o n . They are interests shared with men who have the same subordinate position with respect to particular social contradictions. Here no specific distinction is made with regard to gender relations. Therefore it is better to speak of ‘non­ gender-specific’ interests. Molyneux, too, finds the term ‘women’s interests’ a confusing one. I believe, however, that the consequences of social contradictions are always different for women as compared to their effect on men. This is why it is necessary to analyse the gender-specific results of social contradictions. In the case of gender interests this is being done, even if not self-consciously, and a differentiation has come about on account of the specific division of labour between the sexes. Gender interests stem from the position of women within the social formation, based on their gender identity. These interests are tied to the various roles which women fulfil according to the division of labour between the sexes in a particular context. A further clarification is needed regarding the difference between practical and strategic gender interests. As noted, both arise out of the asymmetrical



power relationship between the sexes. But while strategic gender interests attempt to change the power relationship, the practical gender interests are directed far more to improving the daily life of a particular group of women and their families. Even though they may arise from the asymmetrical power relationship between the sexes, the practical gender interests—in contrast to the strategic gender interests—do not denounce the asymmetry directly. The changes required to realize practical gender interests are less radical than those needed to accomplish strategic gender interests. A hypothetical example of a development project may clarify the argument. At the request of men and women, facilities for drinking water with public taps are being laid out in a certain district. Previously there was no water and its provision can be seen as a Don-gender-specific interest. Women of the district demand that the taps should be open not only in the mornings and evenings, but also in the daytime. They point out that it is too dangerous for them to go out in the street to get water after dark. Here they emphasize a practical gender interest. The project should therefore be adapted to the specific interests which women have because of their gender identity. This must be taken into account, then, in planning and implementing the scheme. The women also claim that they rather than the men must have the supervision over the taps. By this they seek to prevent having to depend on the ‘goodwill’ of the men, since the women would gain control over the taps. In this case a change in the power relationship between the sexes is involved and here one may speak of a strategic gender interest. This example shows that in practice different interests can overlap. Ele­ ments of one can form part of another. On the relationship between the different sorts of interests neither Molyneux nor Moser and Levy give a clar­ ification . Perhaps they feel that possible linkages should become apparent in practice. I think that non-gender-specific interests form part of the practical gender interests, so that the realization of the latter can have more far-reaching and positive effects for women. A policy that takes the practical gender inter­ est into account implicitly also meets the requirements of non-gender-specific interests. The reverse is, however, not the case. Furthermore, the struggle for practical gender interests may give rise to consciousness of strategic gender interests. Hence, practical and strategic gender interests must not be seen as opposing interests, but as two sides of the same coin. They can support each other dialectically. Further analysis is still needed on this subject. Improvement in the position o f women We have seen that the interests in the women’s movement are concerned, broadly, with the desire for more autonomy and improved living conditions. This can be linked to the distinction made above regarding gender interests. Autonomy refers particularly to strategic gender interests, while living condi­ tions are associated with practical gender interests. It is, therefore, my plea



that autonomy and living conditions should have a prominent place in both theory and policy-making regarding Women and Development. To facilitate such policy-making it seems proper to employ one term, suffi­ ciently broad to encompass all the different interests of women; this is the case with ‘improvement in the position of women*. The concept of position refers to the place women have with respect to the social contradictions in society. By improvement of this position I understand the changes which are evaluated as positive by a particular group of women. The changes can be related to the various interests which women have and in which two aspects are to be distinguished. These are: -T h e strategic gender interests, which strive for a change in the asymmetrical power relationship between the sexes. These strategic interests can arise from the ideas which women have about a future which they find desirable or be prompted by the theoretical framework of the concept of autonom y. -T h e practical gender interests, which strive for improvement in the daily living conditions. These can originate in the needs felt by women from a specific group. In practice a distinction cannot always be made between strategic and prac­ tical gender interests. Moreover, elements of practical gender interests can also be part of strategic gender interests and vice versa. And the struggle concerning practical gender interests can lead to a growing awareness of the asymmetrical power relationship between the sexes, in this way providing a basis for strategic gender interests. The distinction is, however, essential for the analysis of the diverse interests in the women’s movement and for under­ standing its complexity. Also, the distinction helps to render ‘improvement in the position of women’ less abstract. Inspired by theories of Althusser and Balibar (1970), I distinguish here an economic, a political and an ideological dimension (cf. Van Wesemael-Smit 1985, pp. 13-20 and Keuper et al. 1986, pp. 3 -5 ). Improvement in the position of women in all its aspects will have to embrace changes in economic, political, and ideological practice Change must not be limited to the practical interests but must also encompass strategic interests. Operationalization of the improvement in the position of women should focus on a specific situation regarding time, place and circumstances. The starting point should in every case be the three dimensions mentioned above. Finally, both the strategic and practical gender interests need to be taken into account. A good example of this is the operationalization made by Maassen Van den Brink (1987, p p . 30 flf) for women in food-processing and appropriate technology. The checklist for women’s organizations in slums in Peru by Van Wesemael-Smit (1985, pp. 108-15) sought to meet these requirements.



Women's groups With the emergence of the autonomy approach, much attention has been paid in recent years to the support and encouragement of independent women’s groups and organizations. By way of autonomous organizations women can shape society. Thus organizational autonomy has become a spearhead in policy-making that stimulates women’s autonomy. I have stated that not just the struggle for autonomy, but also for improvement in the position of women should form the essence of this policy. In this section I pose some questions concerning the function which women’s groups can have in it. Organizational autonomy The relation between women’s autonomy and organizational autonomy has already been indicated. Mies expresses this as follows: Autonomous organization was particularly emphasized, as we saw, vis-a-vis the traditional left organizations which had always claimed supremacy of organization, ideology and programme over all ‘mass movements’. The feminist claim to auton­ omy in this sense means a rejection of all tendencies to subsume the women’s ques­ tion and the women’s movement under some other apparently more general theme or movement. Women’s autonomous organization is an expression of the desire to preserve both the qualitatively different character and identity of the feminist movement, as well as an independent power base. (Mies 1986, p. 41)

But also outside the autonomy approach the importance of women’s organiza­ tions has been pointed out. I would join those who emphasize the importance of (autonomous) women’s organizations (cf. K eu p e re ta l. 1986). It appears that women’s groups often play a prominent role in income acquisition and in increasing the self-confidence of women. Moreover, they are sometimes the first and often the only place where women can talk quietly with each other. These matters are sufficiently important to underscore the relevance of women’s groups. However, I wonder whether every women’s group by definition brings about an improvement in the position of women. One hears many positive views about women’s groups. But in practice the link between co-operation with women’s groups and the achievement of im­ provement in the position of women turns out to be far from simple (cf. CON-text 1985, Wanawake 1986 and LOVA 1986). I will look into this in the following section, mentioning matters which ought to be taken into account when support is given to women’s groups. Women’s groups, some difficulties As stated, women’s groups and organizations have been seen as the new key to Women and Development. However, a number of questions can be raised. The first series of considerations are related to the support of women’s groups as instruments of policy. Then follow some considerations concerning the changes which women’s groups can bring about.



To begin with, women’s groups do not exist everywhere. In Latin America they are numerous. Other areas frequently lack formal women’s groups with which development organizations can co-operate. Sometimes a connection can be formed with informal groups of women: women meet each other when fetching water or going to the market. In this connection one should speak of women’s formal and informal associations rather than of women’s groups. This term refers not only to women’s groups but also to the informal, less structured forms of women’s organization (cf. Keuper et al. 1986, p. 3). On the other hand it should be taken into account that there are areas where the access to women and women’s associations (formal or informal) is extremely difficult and where women’s mobility is strictly limited, as in some Islamic areas. In these cases, ways have to be looked for other than working through existing women’s groups. Women from the Indian women’s movement were faced with this problem. In India there is an important, many-sided women’s movement, but the or­ ganization of rural women is difficult, particularly in the Ganges plains of northern India. This is an area where women often have very restricted freedom of movement and are extremely dependent. A number of feminists attempted to reach women in this area and sought contact by way of local de­ velopment organizations, in the Varanasi district and elsewhere. They noticed, however, that they could make contact with the village women only when they trained young, educated 'women from villages of the area itself and invited these viilage-women to work in the women’s centre in Sevapuri. From this centre, which operates as part of the local development organization, these women try to organize women in the surrounding villages. Success, however, was but partial. The intention is to reach women from all classes by way of the women's centre, but the class-based oppositions between the women are so great that often it is impossible to carry out a concerted action. The celebra­ tion of International Women’s Day on March 8,1985, exemplifies this. Many women from the surrounding villages were invited to come to the centre and participate in a demonstration. During the meeting at the centre many songs were sung, songs from the women’s movement and the more local peasant songs. Some were sung by women from all classes and villages alike, but when it came to the peasant songs the women from the class of big farmers were silent. When the demonstration began they soon dropped o u r 0 (cf. Van der Velden 1986, p . 20). This case makes clear that women are not always organized in groups and that mobilization may have to be arranged differently. Also indicated is the fact that women will not work together in all circumstances. In this case the cause is the difference in class position. But contradictions in the field of eth­ nicity or politics can also play a role. It is possible that these contradictions are felt to weigh more heavily than those between the sexes, so that women prefer to work in mixed groups. Also, within a certain group conflicts may



arise because of the different positions which women have in society such that the unity of the group is shattered and women will no longer work together. Whatever the case may be, the women concerned have to indicate with whom they do wish to work. Every situation must also be examined to see whether the best results can be obtained from autonomous, independent women’s organizations. This requires first a more careful differentiation of the concept 'autonomous groups’. By this 1 understand groups which can determine their goals, working methods and priorities autonomously, without being dependent economically, ideolog­ ically or politically on other organizations (cf. Van Wesemael-Smit 1988, pp. 40-50). 1 speak o f ‘semi-dependent organizations’ when groups can deter­ mine their own goals, but simultaneously depend on other organizations. It seems to me, too, that autonomous women’s organizations are eminently suited to arrive at new ideas about society and in so doing can offer a valuable contribution to the formulation of strategic gender interests and the concept of autonomy. But it may be different when the practical gender interests are concerned. When it comes to improving the daily living conditions, funds are usually essential. Elsewhere (Van Wesemael-Smit 1985, pp. 34-8) I argue that semi-dependent women’s groups often have the better chance of obtaining funds for projects. As we have seen above, it is not possible to form autonomous women’s groups everywhere. The women’s centre in Sevapuri, India, is an example of this. Established in an area where women are heavily oppressed, they cannot work without the support of a general, local development organization. That became very clear during a conflict between the secretary of this development organization and the women. The women of the centre wanted more freedom in carrying out campaigns. The secretary, however, wished to keep control over the women’s actions. He threatened to expel the women’s centre from the organization if they refused to comply. When the women examined the options left to them if the threat were carried out, they came almost unani­ mously to the conclusion that without a protective umbrella they would lose the possibility to campaign at all. An international organization offered them a guaranteed income and a trial period as ‘(semi-)independent’ women’s group. Yet the women decided not to take up the offer; ‘alone’ they would be in no position to stand up to the local powers (the police, for example). It was essential to their existence as a women’s centre that they remain a part of the local development organization.11 In the case of supporting semi-dependent and dependent women’s organi­ zations, a close watch must be kept to see whether the interests o f women from the target group are being represented. If not, it might well be that projects would have negative results for them . The social policy which supports the women’s groups should also be exam­ ined . After a11, organizations which desire to bring about change can form a



threat to the state (cf. Burgess 1982; Castells 1983). This can lead to repres­ sion, also of women’s groups. Yet organization itself can then offer advan­ tages. Through international networks o f women, the repression o f a particular women's group can be exposed. Another, much more subtle instrument of which the state can avail itself is co-optation, encapsulation within governmental in­ stitutions. In this way, women’s groups can be enclosed or made powerless by the setting up of parallel organizations. If these are allotted more funds they are likely to draw away supporters from other groups. Thus it is always neces­ sary to look at the aims o f organizations in taking the part o f women's groups. Next follow a few considerations concerning the effect that women’s groups can have. It is questionable whether women's groups will achieve more egali­ tarian (power) relationships among their members. This will certainly not come about automatically. On the whole, present-day society is very hierarchically constructed. It seems probable that these hierarchial structures will also carry over into women’s groups. It should perhaps be considered exceptional when women’s groups are capable of breaking away from the influence of such hierarchy on the form of their organization. This demands not only a clearly conscious choice, but also the development of a new internal structure. In practice, this is not always easy, as is revealed by the fact that within traditional mothers’ clubs in Peru, for example, strongly hierarchical relations often exist and that one even encounters relations of patronage (cf. Van Wesemael-Smit 1985, pp. 51—60). Hierarchical relationships can be reproduced also within feminist organizations. According to Peterse (1985) such an undesirable de­ velopment took place in a feminist organization in Bolivia. Happily, there are examples of feminist organizations which have broken away from the hierarchical relationships. In these organizations equality has priority and it is possible to develop new initiatives and give free rein to creativity. We must also ask ourselves whose interests are being served by certain women's actions. It is not always the case that women strive for more equal power relationships in their campaigns. It can happen that it is the maintenance of the status quo for which they strive, or the interests of an elite group. In practice this will be deducible not so much from the campaigns as from the ideas behind them. An example may clarify this. Women in Latin America have on various occasions held demonstrations concerning food shortages. In Chile these cam­ paigns between 1970-1973 bore a reactionary character. Women whom Fuentes calls reactionary middle-class women took part in them. Fuentes outlines the following situation: These women struggled for more consumer goods for the middle classes. The Allende goveramenthad redistributed income and there is no doubt that most people ate better. The government imported more food for the people, but many luxury items were no longer imported. These women were opposed to egalitarian distribu­ tion. (Fuentes 1984, p. 55)



In Uruguay during the military dictatorship in the first half of the 1980s women also organized ‘pots-and-pans’ campaigns. Here, however, it was a question of overthrowing a repressive government. The aim was to effectuate an egalitarian distribution of food (cf. Van Wesemael-Smit 1987). More specifically we can question whether women's groups will always bring about autonomy fo r women, in the sense that they will change the asymmetrical power relationships between the sexes. In their organizations women will al­ ways try to realize certain interests. These interests need not in the first place be connected with strategic gender interests. They can also be focussed on practical gender interests. This can start a process leading to the realization of more autonomy, but not necessarily so. Women will attempt to improve their position, which in practice can be related just to the improvement of their living conditions. One last qualification is that a change in the power relationships and, consequently, the achievement of more autonomy cannot be brought about by autonomous women's groups alone. Change in these power relationships demands the reform of present-day society. Women’s groups can contribute to this. But the forming of alliances between various movements is also es­ sential for the accomplishment of social change, as is advanced by the theories on social movements (cf. Castells 1983 and Pansters 1987). Careful examina­ tion, however, is required to see whether women’s interests are fully integrated into these changes, or whether they are being subordinated to other interests. After all, in the past it has happened all too often that the Women’s Issue was subordinated to the ‘all-embracing revolution’ (cf. Mies 1986, pp. 175-204).

In cooduskxi Some important concepts relating to studies and policy-making on Women and Development have been highlighted. Improvement of women’s position is of central importance in development processes which are favourable and desirable for women. Autonomy, for which a change in the asymmetrical power relationship between the sexes is imperative, is not the only interest of women here. It is a question of an aggregation of women’s interests. These include practical gender interests, which are related to the daily living condi­ tions, and strategic gender interests, in which autonomy is at stake. It seems, however, that such terminology is not suitable for employment at policy-making level. The term ‘improvement in women’s position’ already in use is more adequate. While this is being realized, attention must be paid to both strategic and practical gender interests, concerning which economic, political and ideological aspects may be distinguished. Another issue which is at the centre of attention in studies and policy­ making on Women and Development is the support of women’s formal and informal associations. Improvement in the position of women is unthinkable



without the formation of women’s own organizations. But the formation of women’s organizations is not always possible, nor does it always lead automat­ ically to improvement in their position. Hence I appended a few comments which should be taken into account in policy-making with respect to Women and Development. These comments are not meant to suggest that less attention should be paid to women’s associations. On the contrary, only by research into and support of women’s associations can we gain insight into this development process. The question as to what conditions and which type of women’s associations can bring favourable development processes into being has not yet been fully answered. It is important to begin by taking a realistic stance, and it is to this that I meant to contribute. Notes 1. Thanks to I. Keuper, M. Smetsers and W .Th. van der Velden for their valuable contributions to the discussion and their critical observations on earlier versions of this paper. Special thanks to W .Th. van der Velden, who allowed me to make use of the results of her fieldwork. The translation of the article was made with the help of mrs. A. Hamaker. 2. In this article attention is directed primarily to improvement in the position of women from the lower economic classes. 3. Autonomy is used in various contexts. Here, because of the length of the article, I shall only discuss the use of autonomy in studies and policy concerning Women and Development. 4. This difference between women’s autonomy and organizational autonomy is ex­ plained further in ‘Communal Kitchens in Peru; Women’s groups pursuing their interest in the face of outside interference’, by Van Wesemael-Smit (1988, pp. 40-60). 5. Taken from Schrijvers 1985, p 228. 6. Devaki Jain is an Indian economist. She was one of the key-initiators in the for­ mation of a world-wide network of women who plead for alternative development: the DAWN-group (Development Alternatives for Women in a New Era). 7. In this section I focus especially on the interests which have been brought forward by so-called ‘Popular Feminism*. This is a part of the women’s movement in Latin America into which women from the lower economic classes have organized themselves. 8. Based on research data by J.L . van Wesemael-Smit. 9. The term ‘new social movements’ is used as it was in the seminar T he State and the New Social Movements in Latin America’, which the CEDLA (Centre of Studies and Documentation on Latin America) in Amsterdam organized in 1983. In this connection ‘new social movements’ were spoken of in order to indicate that with these movements it is no longer (merely) a question of the classical class conflict and conflicts surrounding the relationships in production. The new social movements are characterized by the diversity in points of conflict and interests which lead to action (cf. Laclau 1985 and Slater 1985). 10. Based on research data by W.Th. van der Velden. 11. Based on research data by W Th.van der Velden.



References Althusser, L. & E. Balibar 1970 Reading capital. Trowbridge: Redwood Press Limited. Ahmed, I. (ed.) 1985 Technology and rural women conceptual and empirical issues. London: Allen A Unwin. Banderage, A. 1984 Women in development; Liberalism, Marxism and Marxism-feminism. De­ velopment and Change, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 495-515. Beneria, L. & G. Sen 1981 Accumulation, reproduction and women’s role in economic development: Boserup revised. Signs. Journal o f Women and Culture, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 279-98. Boesveki, M 1985 Vrouwen wereldwijd: feiten endjfers. In E. Postel-Coster (ed.), Ongekende wegen; Macht en onmacht van vrouwen in Sri Lanka, Egypte en West-Afrika. Laden: DSWO Press,pp. 27-54. Boesveld, M ., C. Helleman, E. Postel-Coster & J. Schrijvers 1986 Towards autonomy for women; research and action to support a development process. The Hague, RAW0 0 Working Paper 1. Boserup, E. 1970 Women's role in economic development. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Boschman, H. & H. Renckens 1985 Geboortereaeling: een kwestie van perspectiefl? LOVA-nieuwsbrief, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 90-102. Boulding, E. 1977 Women in the twentieth century world. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Buira, Ph. 1978 Introductory: female solidarity and the sexual division of labour. In P. Caplan & Ph. Bujra (eds), Women united, women divided Cross-cultural perspectives on female solidarity. London: Tavistock, pp. 13-45. Burgess, R. 1982 The politics of urban residence in Latin America. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 465-80. Caplan, P. & Ph. Bujra (eds.) 1978 Women united, women divided Cross-culturalperspectives onfemale solidarity. London: Tavistock. Castells, E. 1983 The city and the grassroots. London: Edw ard A rnold. Chinchilla, N.S. 1977 Mobilizing women: revolution in the revolution. Latin American Perspec­ tives, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 83-101. CON (Centre Developmentwork the Netherlands) 1985 Kringgesprek. Con-tekst, no . 4. Dabei. I. 1983 Women and development; to integrate or to disintegrate. Amsterdam: Univer­ sity of Amsterdam. Fuectes, M. 1984 The Chilean women’s movements. LOVA-nieuwsbrief, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 53-65.



Hoefnagels, H. 1973 Kritische Sociologies Inlading tot het sociologisch denken der ‘Frankfurter Schule’. Alphen aan den Rijn: Samsom Press. India Vrouwengroep Amsterdam (ed.) 1987 Gezichten van Sita; Indiase vrouwen belicht. Utrecht: Landelijke India Werkgroep. lteuper, I., R. Lenten & J.L . van Wesemael-Smit 1986 Vrouwen, samenwerkingen ontwikkeling; voortstel voor een onderzoeksprogramma. Amsterdam: Free University, Cultural Anthropology and Devel­ opment Sociology. ^ Laclau, E. 1985 New social movements and the plurality of the social. In D. Slater (ed.). New social movements and the state in Latin America. Amsterdam: CEDLApublication, pp. 27—42. Leach, E.R. 1984 Glimpses of the unmentionable in the history of British social anthropology. Annual Review o f Anthropology, no. 13, pp. 1—23. Lenten, R. 1986 Vrouwen en ontwikkelingsbeleid Onzichtbaarheid, integratie en autonomie. Amsterdam: Free University Press, Anthropological Papers no. 6. LOVA-Nieuwsbrief (National Association of Women’s Studies in Anthropology News­ letter) 1986 Vrouwen en Ortanisatie, vol. 7, no. 1. Maassen van den Brink, M. 1987 Vrouwen, voedseherwerking en aangepaste technologic in Afrika ten zuiden van de Sahara; een analyse van olie projectcn. Amsterdam, MA thesis Free University, Cultural Anthropology/Development Sociology. Menon, U . 1987 Portret van een vrouwenorganisatie. In India Vrouwengroep Amsterdam (ed.), Gezichten van Sita; Indiase vrouwen belicht. Utrecht: Landelijke India Werkgroep. Mies, M. 1979 Towards a methodology of women's studies. The Hague: Institute of Social Studies, Occasional Paper no . 77. 1982a The ¡ace makers of Narsapur; Indian housewivesproducefor the world market. London: Zed Press. 1982b Vrouwenstudies of feministische studies? Het debat over feministiese wetenschap en methodologie. Tijdschrift voor Vrouwenstudies, vol. 3, pp. 92-122. 1982c Fighting on twofronts: women’s struggles and research. The Hague: Institute of Social Studies. 1986 Patriarchy and accumulation on a world scale; women in the international division of labour. London: Zed Press Ltd. Ministerie van Ontwikkelinassamenwerking (Department of Development Affairs) 1987 Actieprogramma Vrouwen en Ontwikkeling. The Hague: Maatsuitgeverij. Molvneux, M. 1985 Mobilization without emancipation? Women’s interests, the state, and revo­ lution in Nicaragua. Feminist Studies, vol. 11, no. 2 (Summer), pp. 227-54. Moser, C O N . AC. Levy. 1986 A theory and methodology o f gender planning: meeting women’s practical and strategic needs. London: Development Planning Unit, Gender and Planning Working Paper no. 11.



NAR (National Council of Advice on Development Co-operation) 1980 Advies Vrouwen in ontwikketingslanden; aspecten van ontwikJceiingsbeleid. Th« Hague: Staatsuitgevcrij. 1985 Advies Vrouwen in ontwikkeling. The Hague: Staatsuitgeverij. 1986 Advies Vrouwen in de Nederlandse ontwikkelingssamenwerking. The Hague: Staatsuitgeverij. Pansters, W. 1987 De politieke theorie van stedelijke strijd; bet voorbeeld van Mexico. Derde Wereld, vol. 87, no. 1, pp. 55-71. Peterse, G. 1985 Vrouwenstrijd in Bolivia. Amsterdam: MA thesis, University of Amsterdam, Political Science. Postel-Coster, E. 1983 Misverstanden rond de kostwinner in het ontwikkelingsbeleid. Internatio­ nale Spectator, vol. 37, no. 9, pp. 549-55. Postel-Coster, E . (ed.) 1985 Ongekende weren; macht en onmacht van vrouwen in Sri Lanka, Egypte en West-Afrika. Series Social Anthropological Studies. Leiden: DSWO Press. Roefs, J. (ed.) 1985 Trefpunt Nairobi. Amsterdam: Press Jan Mets/NOVIB. Rogers, B. 1980 The domestication o f women; discrimination in developing societies. Lon­ don/New York: Tavistock Publications. Schriivers, J. 19*n Cultuur als camouflage; westerse weerstanden tegen vrouwen als ontwikkelingsrelcvant onderwerp. Internationale Spectator, vol. 37, no. 9, pp. 556-65. 1985 Mothersfor life; motherhood and marginalization in the North Central Province o f Sri Lanka. Delft: Eburon. Sen, G . & C . Grown 1985 Development, crisis and alternative visions: Third World women's perspective. New Delhi: Institute of Social Studies Trust, Dawn project. Slater, D. (ed.) 1985 New social movements and the state in Latin America. Amsterdam: CEDLA publication. Thomas-Lycklama a Nijeholt, G. 1984 Vrouwen en ontwikkeling; de spanning tussen integratie en autonomie. Wageningen: Farewell speech. Agricultural University. Vareas Valente, V. 1986 El aporte de la rebeldia de las mujeres. Boston: paper presented at the XIII international congres of the Latin American Studies Association. Velden, W .Th van der 1986 Honour at work: the lives of poor Thakur women in Eastern UP. Manushi, vol. 7, no. 1, p. 37. Wanawake, een krant voor vrouwen in het ontwikkelingswerk 1986 Sainenwerken met vrouwengroepen. Wanawake, vol. 1, no. 3. Weber, M. 1947 The theory of social and economic organisation. Translated and edited by Talcott Parsons. New York.



Wesemael-Smit, J.L . van 1985 Vrouwengroepen: naaikransjes of vrouwenfrontcn? Een analyse van vrouwen­ groepen in voiksbuurten tan Peru. Geografische cn Planolcosche Notities no. 50. Amsterdam: Free University, Geographical and Planological In­ stitute. 1987 Vrouwen in beweging. In: CLAT-landenkrant Uruguay. 1988 Communal kitchens in Peru; women's groupspursuing tneir interest in theface o f outside interference. Amsterdam: Free University, Cultural Anthropol­ ogy/Development Sociology. Urban Working Paper no. 16.

About the authors AU contributors to this volume arc members of the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Sociology of Development at the Free University, Amster­ dam, except for Prof. dr. P .L . Geschiere, who recently accepted an appoint­ ment at the University of Leiden. The publications mentioned below, limited to three per person, are in each case representative of their current interests. Dr. André Droogers Field of research: Brazil; popular religion, Pentecostalism, Syncretism. 1984 Religiosidade popular Luterana, Relatório de Urna Pesquisa no Espirito Santo, juiho de 1982. Sao Leopoldo: Editora Sinodal. 1985 E a umbanda? Sao Leopoldo: Editora Sinodal. 1985 From waste-making to recycling: a plea for an eclectic use of models in the study of religious change. In W .M .J. van Binsbergen & J .M . Schoffeleers (eds. ), Theoretical explorations in African religion. London: Kegan Paul International, pp. 8 8 -1 0 8 . Prof. dr. Peter Gcschicrc Until recently associated with the Free University, he now teaches history and social and cultural anthropology of Africa south of the Sahara at the University of Leiden. He carried out fieldwork in Cameroon and Tunisia. 1982 Village communities and the state; changing relations among the Maka o f Southeastern Cameroon since the colonial conquest. London: Kegan Paul. 1984 La paysannerie est-elle captive? Sur la thèse de Goran Hyden et pour une réponse plus nuancée. Politique Africaine, 14, pp. 1 3 -3 3 . 1985 (Editor, with W . van Binsbergen) Old modes o f production and capitalist encroachment; anthropological explorations in Africa. London: Kegan Paul. Dr Joop van Kessel Field of research: Indians of the Andes, especially Aymara. 1986 (With J. Tennekes) Structuur en anti-structuur, pelgrimage in NoordChili. Antropologische Verkenningen, 5, pp. 11—34. 1986 (With B. Guerrero) Sanidad y Salvación en el Altiplano Chileno: del yatiri al pastor. Iquique: CIREN. 1987 De 12000 dansers van de Maagd: volksmystiek en politiek protest in Noord-Chili. Amsterdam: VU Uitgeverij.


Drs. Jos van der Klci Has carried out research in Tunisia and Senegal concerning problems of rural transformation. 1985 Articulation of modes of production and the beginning of labour mi­ gration. In W. van Binsbergen & P. Geschiere (e d s ), Old modes o f production and capitalist encroachment. London: Kegan Paul. 1988 (With John Eichelsheim) ‘C est la politique Monsieur*: old and new landlords in the city of Ziguinchor, Senegal. In R . R . Bergh (ed.), Di­ mensions o f African urban development. Afrika Studiecentrum, Leiden (in press). 1988 Soil reclamation: a technical or a socio-economic problem? In H . Dost (e d .), Proceedings o f the Dakar symposium on acid sulphate soils. ILRI publications, Wageningen (in press). D r. Dick. Kooiman Research on the history of the untouchable communities in South Travancore (South India) in the nineteenth century, with special reference to the effects of (Christian) missionary activities on the socio-economic position of these communities. 1984 The gospel of coffee—mission, education and employment in Travan­ core (19th century). In D . Kooiman, O .D . van den Muijzenberg & P. van der Veer (eds.), Conversion, competition and conflict—essays on the role o f religion in Asia. Amsterdam: Free University Press, p p . 185-215. 1984 Conversion and sodo-cultural change: a case study of South Travan­ core. Journal o f Kerala Studies, XI, pp. 1—23 (not printed until Jan­ uary 1988). 1985 Social and economic backgrounds of nineteenth-century London mis­ sionaries in Southern Travancore. Indian Church History Review, XIX (2), pp. 9 9 -1 2 7 . D r. Adrian us Koster Research is mainly directed at Malta. He is particularly interested in local religious and political developments and their sociogenesis. 1984 The Kappillani: the changing position of the parish priest in M alta. In Eric R . Wolf (ed.), Religion, power and protest in local communities: the northern shore o f the Mediterranean. Berlin: Mouton, p p . 185-211. 1984 Prelates and politicians in Malta: changing power-balances between church and state in a Mediterranean island fortress (1800 -1 9 7 6 ). Stud­ ies of Developing Countries 29. Assen: Van Gorcum. 1984/86 (With Harrison Smith) Lord Strickland—servant o f the crown, 2 vols. Malta: Progress Press.


D r. Jan van der Linden Low-income housing in Third-World cities. Informal or autonomous solutions and government policies to the housing problem, especially in South Asia (Pakistan). 1986 The sites and services approach reviewed; solution or stopgap to the Third World housing shortage? Aldershot: Gower. 1987 Implementation and impacts of a legalization and improvement pro­ gramme in Karachi: the case of Ghousia Colony. Trialog, 13/14, pp. 5 7 - 6 3 . 1988 (With P. Nientied) Approaches to low-income housing in the Third World; some comments. In J . Gugler (ed.), Perspectives on Third World urbanization. Oxford: Oxford University Press. D r. Philip Quarles van Ufford Fields of interest: analysis of development policy-making and its impact on rural development, especially in Southeast Asia. 1986 (Editor and contributor) Local leadership and programme implementa­ tion in Indonesia. Amsterdam: Free University Press. 1987 Contradictions in the study of legitimate authority in Indonesia. BKI, 143, pp. 141-159. 1988 (Editor, with D. Kruijt & Th. Downing) The hidden crisis in develop­ ment: development bureaucracies. Tokyo/Amsterdam: United Nations University/Free University Press. Dr. Reimar Schefold Research in Indonesia; Indonesian development problems in connection with traditional cognitive systems and modern processes of change. 1985 (Editor, with G . Persoon) Pulau Siberut; pembangunan sosio-ekonomi, kebudyaan tradisional dan lingkungan hidup. Jakarta: Bhratara Karya Aksara. 1986 The unequal brothers-in-law; Indonesia as a ‘field of anthropological study’ and the case of Mentawai. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 142, pp. 69 - 86. 1988 Lia; das grosse Ritual a u f den Mentawai-Inseln (Indonesien). Berlin: Dietrich Reimer. Prof. dr. Matthew Schoffeleers Professor of Religious Anthropology since 1975, after 20 years in Malawi as a missionary and university teacher. Research in African religion. 1979 (Editor) Guardians o f the land: essays on Central African territorial cidts. Gwelu: Mam bo Press. 1985 (Co-editor) Theoretical explorations in African religion. London: Kegan Paul International.


1985 (Co-author) Land o f fire: oral literature from M alawi. Limbe: Montfort Press. D r. Frits Selier Research focussed on family-sociological topics and, more recently, on Third World urbanization and rural-urban migration, especially in Pakistan. 1986 Family and rural-urban migration in Pakistan. The case o f Karachi. Urban Research Working Papers no. 12, Institute of Cultural Anthro­ pology/Sociology of Development, Free University, Amsterdam. 1986 (With Mehtab S. Karim) Migration in Pakistan: macro and micro level approaches. Lahore: Vanguard Books. 1987 (With Yvo Klare) Are thresholds o f migrant-consolidation changing? Family and low-income housing in Karachi. Urban Research Working Papers no. 14, Institute of Cultural Anthropology/Sociology of Devel­ opment, Free University, Amsterdam. Prof. dr. Heather Sutherland Professor of non-western history, specializing in the social history of Indonesia and Malysia from the 18th to the 20th century. She is currently working on a study o f Makassar’s trade. 1979 The making o f a bureaucratic elite: the colonial transformation o f the Javanese priyayi. Singapore: Heinemann. 1980 The transformation of the Trengganu legal order. Journal o f Southeast Asian Studies, XI, pp. 1—29. Eastern emporium and company town: trade and society in eighteenth century Makassar. In Frank Broeze (ed .), Brides o f the sea: port cities o f A sia form the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. (Forthcoming.) Prof. dr. Hans Tennekes Professor of cultural anthropology. Has done research in Latin America on the political consequences of the growth of the Pentecostal movement in Chile. He is currently engaged in research in the field of ethnic minorities in the Netherlands. 1982 Symbolen en hun boodschap: een inleiding in the symbolische antropologie. Assen: Van Gorcum. 1985 Cultuur en cultuurverschillen. Migrantenstudies, 1, pp. 17 —38. 1986 H et recht op behoud van culturele autoriteit: autochtone en allochtone minderheden in Nederland. In A . W . Musschenga & J . Tennekes (ed s.), Emancipate en identiteit: over de positie van etnische groepen in de Nederlandsesamenleving. Amsterdam: VU Uitgeverij, pp. 8 3 -1 0 4 .


D r. Bernard Venema Research in North and West Africa, concerning the incorporation of peasantsocieties into the nation-state, economic, ideological and political conse­ quences. 1978 The W olof o f Saloum: social structure and rural development in Senegal. PUDOC. 1987 Islam en macht bij de Khroumirs: veranderingen in de locale politieke organisatie in de periode 1850-1985. In L.B. Venema (ed.), Islam en macht, een historisch-antropologisch perspectief. Assen: Van Gorcum. Successful exploitation or successful integration? A case study in North­ western Tunisia. In J. Hinderink (ed.), Lessons in rural development. (Forthcoming.) Dr. Wilhelmina van Wetering Much interested in Afro-Surinarnese culture. After anthropological fieldwork among the Ndjuka, a group of Surinam Maroons, she turned to SurinamCreole migrant culture in the Netherlands. 1985 (With M . J . Janssens) Mati en lesbiennes: homoseksualiteit en etnische identiteit bij Creools-Surinaamse vrouwen in Nederland. Sociologische Gids, 32, pp. 394—415. 1987 Informal supportive networks: quasi kin groups, religion and social order among Surinam Creoles in the Netherlands. Sociologia Neerlandica, 23(2), pp. 9 2 -1 0 1 . 1987 (With H . U . E . Thoden van Velzen) Herinneringen die rondspoken; het verleden in een Afro-Surinaamse samenleving. Sociologist Tijdschrift, 14, pp. 4 0 7 -3 6 . Drs. Lillian van Wesemael-Smit Researches women's organizations in Latin-American urban areas, particularly in connection with opportunities and constraints in achieving social change. 1985 Vrouwengroepen: naaikransjes o f vrouwenfronten? Een analyse van vrouwengroepen in volksbuurten van Peru. Geografische en Planologische Notities no. 50. Geographical and Planological Institute, Free Uni­ versity, Amsterdam. 1988 Communal kitchens in Peru; women ’s groups pursuing their interests in the face o f outside interference. Urban Research Working Papers no. 16. Institute of Cultural Anthropology/Sociology of Development, Free University, Amsterdam.

ANTROPOLOGISCHE STUDIES VU Redakt»: prof.dr. J.M. Schoffeieers en dr. A. Koster Vakgroep Cutturele Antropologie /Sotiologie der Niet-Westerse Samenlevingen Vrije Universiteit Postbus 7161 1007 MC Amsterdam De vakgroep houdt ach bezig met een omvangrjk onderzoeksprogramma naar reügie, macht en ontwikkeling in Afrika, Zuidoost-Azie, Latijns-Amerika en Europa. De serie a n t r o p o lo g isc h e s t u d ie s vu is bedoeld om Produkten van wetenschappetijke arbeid verricht aan de vakgroep of onder haar auspidön op een sneile manier onder de aarv dacht van cdlegae, Studenten en een breed publiek te brengen. Versehenen in de serie: 1. Wim van Binsbergen en Peter Geschfere (red) OUDE PROOUKTIEWUZEN EN BINNENDRINGEND KAPITAUSME Antropologische verkenningen in Afrika (1982) isbn 906256-292-2 uitvefkocht 2 Joke van Roenen VROUWEN, VRUCHTBAARHEID EN ONREINHEID Een antropologische verkenning op Bali en in Tunesiö (1963) isbn 90-6256-163-2 uitverkocht 3. Adrianus Koster, Yme Kuiper, Jojada Verrips (red) FEEST EN RITUEEL IN EUROPA Antropologische essays (1963) isbn 906256-2934 uitverkocht 4. Gerrit Wildenbeest DE W1NTERSWIJKSE SCHÖLTEN: OPKOMST, BLOEI EN NEERGANG Een antropologische speurtocht naar het fatum van een agrarische elite (19853edruk) isbn 906256-316-3 f 28.85 5 Maarten Bavinck SM ALL FRY The economy of petty fishermen in Northern Shri Lanka (1984) isbn 906256-374-0 uitvefkocht 6. Dick Kooiman, Otto van den Muijzenberg, Peter van der Veer (red) CONVERSION. COMPETITION AND CONFLICT Essays on the role of religion in Asia (1984) isbn 906256065-7 f 30.40

7. SyM a Keppel PRIMAIRE TEXTIELE TECHNIEKEN VAN DE MENTAWAI-EILANDEN Systematiek van het lus- en vtechtwerk (1984) isbn 90*256-255-8 uitverkocht 8. Patricia Romijn VROUWEN ACHTER SLOT EN GRENDEL Een antropologische Studie over religieuze vemieuwing in een kkxster van slotzusters (1986) isbn 90-6256-117-9 126,00 9 J.W. Bakter, Y.B. Kuiper, J. Miedema (red) ANTROPOLOGIE TUSSEN W ETENSCHAP EM KUNST Essays over CKfford Geertz (1987) isbn 906256-524-7 124.75 10. J. van Kessel DE 12.000 DANSERS VAN DE MAAGD Voksmystiek en pohtiek prolest in Noord C h i (1987) isbn 906256-588-3 f 45,00 Intekenaren op de sehe ontvangen 20% korting.