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Title: To know or not to know? Practices of knowledge and ignorance among Bidayuhs in an “impurely” Christian world
Authors: Chua, L
Keywords: Epistemology;Anthropology;Sarawak, Malaysia;Christianity
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Royal Anthropological Institute
Citation: Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 15(2), 332 - 348, 2009
Abstract: This article seeks to render ignorance analytically and ethnographically productive by exploring practices and tropes of knowing and not-knowing among young Christian Bidayuhs in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. It argues that these Bidayuhs' professed ignorance of the old ‘religion’, adat gawai, cannot be dismissed as a simple lack of knowledge or reflection of sheer indifference. Instead, their invocations of ignorance could be understood as a productive, empowering device for dealing with the dangers of living in a world in which religious conversion remains an ongoing, incomplete process. Through this ethnographic analysis, the article also offers a reflexive critique of the knowledge-centred impulses that often shape anthropology's epistemological and methodological projects.
Description: © Royal Anthropological Institute 2009. This is the accepted version of the following article: Chua, L. (2009), To know or not to know? Practices of knowledge and ignorance among Bidayuhs in an ‘impurely’ Christian world. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 15: 332–348, which has been published in final form at
ISSN: 1359-0987
Appears in Collections:Anthropology
Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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