Colonial Subjectification: Foucault, Christianity and Governmentality

Main Article Content

Christina Petterson


Foucault’s concept of pastoral power is envisioned as a technique of power developed from the medieval period and carried through into modern political rationalities. As such, it is an old power technique – which originated in Christian institutions – in a new political shape, which he coined governmentality. This article uses Foucault’s genealogy of pastoral power and governmentality to discuss the intersection of domination and technology of self in the Greenlandic colonial context and to bring out the central role of religion in Foucault’s conceptualisation of governmentality.

Article Details

Secular Discomforts: Religion and Cultural Studies (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biography

Christina Petterson, Humboldt University, Berlin

Christina Petterson is a postdoctoral research fellow in the postgraduate research group, ‘Gender as a Category of Knowledge’ at Humboldt University, Berlin and visiting fellow at the Centre for European Studies at Australian National University. She obtained a PhD from Macquarie University in 2011. Her research focuses on the role of Protestant Christianity in the formation of modern Europe and its colonial enterprises with special focus on gender, race and class.