Volume 18, Number 1, 2022

Ines Bouguerra et Claude Vautier

Foreword : « Le retour du religieux » (p. 15-19)

Jean-François Laniel

«The Thanatology of Quebec Catholicism. Contemporary Variants and Limitations» (p. 21-48)

Abstract:  This article explores the variants as well as the limits of what it calls the thanatology of French Canadian and Quebec Catholicism. It identifies three of these theses, those most frequently found in the intellectual literature. For each of them, it studies the indicators used to make the diagnosis, the reference period used to measure the decline and, in this, the religious norm used as a scale. In the process, the contemporary intellectual construction of the Catholic object is studied. In the course of this article, the reader will find a plea for the study of Catholicism that exists here and now.

Keywords:  religious studies, catholicism, Quebec, French Canada, secularization, Epistemology.

Federico Carducci

When the Prophet Returns to the City to Bring Peace: The “Return of the Religious” to the Test of an African Field. The Case of the Tokoist Church in Angola» (p. 49-83)

Abstract:  The concept of the “return of religion”, which is often mobilized from the paradigm of secularization and impregnated with its normative vision, has never been tested from below to verify its operationality. Starting from the case of a prophetic church in Angola, the Tokoist Church, and the return of its prophet into the post-war political scene, this work proposes to deconstruct the ethnocentric and methodological biases and to make the concept of the return of religion an operative notion. To do so, it puts forward a perspective that rejects any causal relationship between religion and modernity, and focuses on the historicity of religion, on the heterogeneous forms of spiritual and institutional authority and on everyday practices. Finally, the interweaving of the return of religion and the end of the war allows us to understand the reconfiguration of power relations in Angola.

Keywords:  return of the Prophet; historicity; Angola; Authority; State

Nicolas Walzer

«The “Rationalist” Return of the Sociology of Collective Beliefs. Perspective and Critical Discussion of Gérald Bronner’s Rationalist Posture» (p. 85-126)

Abstract:  The sociology of collective beliefs is a little discussed sub-discipline in France. Gérald Bronner, whose specialty it is, is in line with Max Weber-Raymond Boudon and intends to add the contribution of cognitive sciences to produce a cognitive sociology that aims to be rationalist. However, some perceive it above all as a form of scientific activism or neo-scientism. In this, we will see that it is out of step with the different methodological postures of sociologists of religions or other researchers. It also raises the thorny question of the relationship between social sciences and cognitive sciences. This article contains many quotes from interviews with Bronner on these topics.

Keywords:  Gérald Bronner; sociology of collective Beliefs; sociology of religions; cognitive sciences; rationalism; methodological Individualism, methodological agnosticism, science activism.

Julien Dessibourg, Julia Itel et François Gauthier

«Immanent Transcendance : Science, Religion, and Metaphysics of Nature» (p. 127-165)

Abstract:  This article challenges the narrative that modern Western societies have grown out of religion. The argument is as follows: 1) the narrative of the separation of the sphères of social reality (science, religion, politics, etc.) is a myth; 2) the different spheres are, as in all societies that have appeared in history, encompassed and united by the same metaphysics; 3) this metaphysics is not of the transcendent type as in monotheisms, but of the immanent type (i.e. it refers not to an afterlife but to the world we live in); 4) the heart of this metaphysics is no longer God, but Nature; and 5) the representations of Nature are omnipresent in modernity. These different observations invite us to proceed to new analyses of religion in modernity, through the study of representations of nature and the abandonment of Christian ontological dualism,  which systematically opposes metaphysics to nature, as well as transcendence to immanence.

Keywords:  modernity; religion; science; metaphysics; nature; dualism; transcendence, Immanence

Jérémy Iannila ville

«The Emergence of Evangelical Power in the Philippines: An Analysis Based on the Particular Case of a Born Again Reform Group» (p. 167-201)

Abstract: Since 2016, the War on Drugs in the Philippines is supported by a majority of the population. Some of the allies of President Rodrigo Duterte defend the reinstatement of capital punishment in the archipelago, based on a theological-political argument. These allies are the instrument of a new type of evangelical power that also manifests itself in the United States and Brazil. From the particular case of the reformed Born Again group and the findings of a survey conducted between 2019 and 2021, the article is rooted in a Science of Education perspective. It aims to describe the implementation of evangelical power as well as some of its characteristics, by proposing a reflection on the change of relation to knowledge that operates through the enforcement of evangelical doctrine and the concept of truth of the subject, which civil authority has seized.

Keywords:  reformed groups; civil authority; religious authority; truth of the subject,; subservience

Hamida Azouani-Rekkas

«Processes of Religious Subjectivation in Contemporary Algeria: Dynamics of Individualisation and Communitarisation of Belief in an Evangelical-Pentecostal Kabylian Context» (p. 203-236)

Abstract:  The aim of this article is to explore the close interconnections between conversions to Pentecostalism in Kabylia and the logics of the subject’s quest for empowerment, in a context of strong social and normative regulations. While the influence of evangelical movements and their global offensive on local groups has been widely exploited to account for conversions in Algeria, the aim here is to demonstrate that this reading grid is not sufficient to grasp the issues at stake in the emergence of a new ethic observed within a group driven by a need for self-care. We will try to focus the analysis on the process of individualization, a formulation that can be heuristic to analyse the religious not as an invariable entity, but as a social phenomenon with variable interpretations linked to space and time. In sum, this article allows us to see that, well beyond the change in representations and practices, the question of conversions provides a framework for analysing the agentivity of actors.

Keywords:  conversion; politics; religion; pentecostalism; evangelicalism; Islam; Kabylia; Algeria
Pamela Millet-Mouity
«Evangelical Protestantism on the Move: A Look at the Theologies of Prosperity in a Postcolonial Context. Examples of Black Faithful from the Middle and Upper Classes» (p. 237-303)

Abstract:  The Prosperity theology as a paradigm has been the subject of much analysis. Often, this abundance involves the mobilization of the notions of absence, lack, insufficiency, waiting, passivity, blockage, miserableness, laziness, especially in studies that have focused on the Churches of Africa or Latin America. Yet, on the ground, behind this concept, there is no evidence, no homogeneity, but a constellation of infinitely diverse meanings and practices, where resurgence and creation are intertwined. However, despite the heterogeneity of représentations of what it designates and the realities it implies, its declination in the plural has not flourished in the social sciences. And it is this contrast between the specificity of the ethnographic view and the permanence of an ethnographically disinformed notion that pushes us to rethink it. This article therefore proposes to revisit this concept, in the light of the profound reconfigurations that the Franco-Belgian Protestant landscape and that of postcolonial movements have undergone in recent decades, in order to better understand the different games of appropriation and (re)interpretation at work within this religious movement.

Keywords: protestantism; pentecostalism; prosperity theology; black churches; african churches; social classes

Claude Vautier

«Did You Say “Relation”?» (p. 305-329)

Abstract:  Contemporary sociology is the home of intense discussions on the term “relation”. These discussions are not recent, and even, more than a century ago, we find traces of it (although quietly, the quarrel not being identified as such) in authors such as Georg Simmel or those of the Chicago Schools, circa 1890. The dispute reappeared since methodological individualism receded somewhat from center stage after the death of Raymond Boudon, in 2013. This dispute opposes those for whom relational sociology is essentially an interactionism which most often boils down to an individualist and actionist posture and those for whom this approach cannot really be conceived as relational and consider that it is necessary to “start from the relation” and not having to be driven to the individual. This article aims to provide some clarification on this dispute and propose a way to resolve it.

Keywords:  actionism; structural analysis; exchanges; methodological Individualism; interactionist model; relational paradigm; relation; epistemological relation; ontological relation; structures; subject; system

Georges Macaire Eyenga

«The Prison Elsewhere. An Investigation on the Functions of Prison Confinement in Cameroon» (p. 331-366)

Abstract:  This article analyses the functions of the prison in Cameroon, based on a debate on Philippe Combessie’s thinking in prison sociology. It first confronts the classical functions of the prison in the African context to identify both continuities and ruptures; then, in a second step, it sets out another function of the prison, that of domination analyzed in the colonial and post-colonial experience of the prison. The analysis uses history and neo-functionalism to account the way in which the prison-model was disseminated in the colonies to serve Western imperialism and its re-appropriation by the political orders of the independent African states. It emerges from this study that if the universality of the prison can be affirmed, its historicity must be understood by resituating it in the multiple experiences of its translation in each continent.

Key-words:  prison; function; politics; domination; colonial; state; Cameroon.

Ghislaine Gallenga et Olivier Wathelet

«Uncertainties and Temporalities: About the Role of Serendipity in Business Anthropology» (p. 367-402)

Abstract:  The field of the enterprise federates multiple approaches and constitutes a place of methodological innovation for anthropology. It is invested by anthropologists from different backgrounds, whether they work as practitioners or in the academic world. However, ethnography as a method of data collection can frighten entrepreneurs and sponsors of a study, because the characteristics of anthropological research are based on temporal regimes that clash with those of the enterprise. In addition to the very duration of an investigation according to the discipline’s canons, the uncertainty as to the outcome of a fieldwork process and the type of deliverable that can be proposed at the end of an intervention constitute a double obstacle to the meeting between these two worlds. The purpose of this article is to question the role of serendipity, understood here as resulting from a temporality characterized by uncertainty, in the field of corporate anthropology. After a brief state-of-the-art on the use and recourse to serendipity in anthropology, we shift the focus to the field of business. Through ethnographic examples, mainly from the field of design, we analyze the role of serendipity in business in the context of applied and fundamental anthropology, both as a risk and as a lever to enhance the value of an anthropological intervention. This positive valence given to uncertainty and therefore to serendipity allows us to reinforce the link between an academic anthropology and an operational anthropology in the field of business by privileging the specific approach of ethnography.

Key-words: serendipity; temporality; uncertainty; enterprise; anthropology; ethnography; design.

Book Reviews

Patrick Loyer

La Confédération et la dualité canadienne, Valérie Lapointe-Gagnon, Rémi Léger, Serge Dupuis, Alex Tremblay Lamarche, Québec, Presses de l’Université Laval, coll. « Perspectives de l’Ouest », 2020, 372 pages (p. 403-406)

Marcel Weaver

Une sorte de paradis paysan ? Une comparaison des sociétés rurales en Acadie et dans le Loudunais, 1604-1755, Gregory M. W. Kennedy, Québec, Septentrion, 2021, 294 pages (p. 407-409)

Karmen d’Entremont

Dire le silence. Insécurité linguistique en Acadie 1867-1970, Annette Boudreau, Sudbury, Éditions prise de parole, 2021, 234 pages (p. 411-414)

Cody Donaldson

Didactique du français en contextes minoritaires entre normes scolaires et plurilinguisme, Joël Thibault et Carole Fleuret (dir.), Ottawa, Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa, coll. « Éducation », 289 pages (p. 415-419)