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Book: Indigenizing Movements in Europe

Chapter: Introduction: Indigenizing Movements in Europe

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.40857


Introducing the core themes of this book entails recognition of the complex and contested nature not only of the comparisons involved but also of the practice of comparison itself. Paul C. Johnson’s coinage of the term “indigenizing” is tested in the main chapters of the volume for its applicability and value in relation to religious movements in Europe. The term is part of a continuum, at the opposite end to “extending” or “universalizing” and Johnson deployed it to advance understanding of Indigenous movements and cultures in the Caribbean and South America. The possibility that it works for other religious movements, and once that are not “Indigenous” in Johnson’s sense, is debated here. Thus, the comparative categories “World”, “New” and “Indigenous” are introduced – and challenged.

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