Accepted Paper:

Christian asceticism and neoliberal technologies of governmentality in Papua New Guinea  

Author:

Richard Eves (Australian National University)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on case study material from Papua New Guinea, I examine the asceticism advocated by Pentecostal Christians and how these converge with discourses of public health, emphasizing that people should be responsible for their own health and well-being.

Paper long abstract:

Neoliberalism applies the classical liberal rationale of the free market to individual human lives, thus promoting a creed of individual self interest and individual morality. Through their emphasis on self-responsibility and self-governance, evangelical forms of Christianity converge with aspects of neoliberal forms of Governmentality. Drawing on case study material from Papua New Guinea, I examine the asceticism advocated by Pentecostal Christians and how these converge with discourses of public health, emphasizing that people should be responsible for their own health and well-being. Much as a good Christian is required to follow particular rules of conduct, being a good citizen also requires a person to adopt particular behaviors defined as "good" by health authorities.

Panel Med05
Disease and goodness