Métissage and Bricolage in the Making of African Christian Identities
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AbstractMétissage, bricolage, or hybridizing—the argument continues over the appro-priateness of metaphors in the study of contemporary religious productions, and we are invited to question and confront the dialectical or ‘‘dialogical’ ’ pro-cesses which are at work in the appropriation of differences, and the handling of disputes which are part of these processes. A detour by way of all that is involved in the Christian invention of African identities, all that individuals and groups have invested in that invention, the remnant of the colonial encounter, all this contributes to the comparisons which are made in the present writing, and to its conclusions. When we speak of the post-modern re-enchantment with métissage, with its subversive transgressions exemplified by hybridization, or of our fascination with a vanishing bricolage which now is breaking up into simple collage, we may regret the way in which the fecundity of misunderstand-ings inherent in any encounter has been cancelled, and especially the ambivalent postures which beset the worlds of cultural mixture, and which contribute to their instability.