Missions and Conversions: Creating the Montagnard-Dega by T. Pearson

By T. Pearson

This research bargains a clean examining of non secular conversion by way of interpreting a number of “missionaries” that sought to steer the Montagnard-Dega refugee. Thomas Pearson makes use of ethnographic and archival learn to inform the tale of cross-cultural touch within the highlands in the course of the Vietnam struggle, Christian conversion, refugee exile, and the formation of the Dega refugee neighborhood within the usa. His insightful research considers not only evangelicals and Catholics, yet humanitarian staff within the highlands, refugee resettlement volunteers within the usa, and the yankee certain Forces infantrymen. This publication makes the case that the Dega have appropriated the anthropological and non secular discourses of this disparate crew of missionaries to recreate themselves via a multivalent “conversion.”

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Extra resources for Missions and Conversions: Creating the Montagnard-Dega Refugee Community (Contemporary Anthropology of Religion)

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The American military’s use of anthropologists became quite controversial during the Vietnam War, as was the missionary’s use of anthropology in evangelical circles. Anthropologists often relied on missionary informants, but the military manuals they helped prepare rarely mention the presence of missionaries or the growing Christianization of parts of the highland population. 5 1 “The Montagnard Need A Book” French Catholic missionaries were the first Europeans to encounter people living in the central highlands of Vietnam.

By this account, Dega would seem to extend the appellation for the Edé collectivity to name all the highland people—which may be an appropriate narrative given the prominence of Rhadé speaking highlanders in the FULRO movement where the name Dega seems to have come into common use. Many in the refugee community use the term Montagnard because they feel it is the name most likely recognized by Americans. But some object because it is a French term. Others do not like “Dega” because they consider it a Rhadé term.

S. began to give greater aid to Vietnam. Many thousands of our men went to help a country unable to help itself . . Perhaps it would help you to know that we had 2,000 baptisms among the Vietnamese and the tribespeople during 1962. Had it not been for your husband and others, the missionaries would have had to flee Vietnam before 1962. I would like to think that Charles Holoway had some share in these 2,000 people who have found Christ as their Savior. In spite of war and trouble, missionary work continues.

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