Institut für Sozialanthropologie


Cypri Jehan Paju Dale is a social anthropologist with research and professional interests include politics of development, anthropology of Christianity, endogenous transformation, social movements, governance, and systemic corruption. He completed his PhD at the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Bern Switzerland in 2018 with a dissertation entitled “Development as Self-Determination: Anti-colonial Struggles, Endogenous Transformation, and the Role of Christianity in West Papua”. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in West Papua and Europe, this dissertation investigates how through development, external forces (states, Christian missions, corporations, and non-governmental organizations) have shaped West Papua and Papuans’ lives, and how Papuans as historical actors have strategically engaged, resisted, and reinvented development and Christianity in order to pursue transformation on their own terms. This study proposes a theory of development that emphasizes the role of indigenized Christianity in envisioning development as self-determination. 

In his present research on Social Antrhopology of Religions Development and Human Rights, he deals with the discursive practices of mission, development, and human rights of Catholic and Protestant Churches, with geographical focus in Papua and Flores in Eastern Indonesia; and analyses their hegemonic and emancipatory contributions to present dynamic of the society. Using multi-sited ethnography, he follows the flow of ideas, knowledges, interests, will to improve, projects, money, within and among the churches at local, national, and global level (especially Europe); and between the churches and states (Indonesia and inter-governmental development agencies) and business actors (corporations). These ethnographic materials are then used to analyze the role and function of churches at different arena; and their relation to local, national, and global politics and political-economy. He  also pays specific attention to the role of the churches in emancipatory and postcolonial/decolonial struggles of local communities in Papua and Flores, as a case of emancipatory potentials of faith based agencies in the neoliberal age.