Huff, “Pentecostalized Development”

April 27, 2014

Huff, James G. Jr.  2014. Pentecostalized Development and Novel Social Imaginaries in Rural El Salvador. The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 19(1): 22-40.

Abstract: The number of churches associated with Pentecostal Christianity has increased rapidly in El Salvador in the decades following the end of the civil war, and these organizations are gradually playing a role in shaping Salvadorans’ vision of the social good. This article examines a case in which the congregants of one rural Pentecostal church mobilize their neighbors and other nonchurch institutions to carry out community development initiatives. In particular, the article describes how the church emerged as a key public in the local development arena and, accordingly, became a site wherein previously segmented social networks in the community were bridged in novel ways. By documenting how change occurs incrementally and relationally at the level of local social networks, the discussion offers a better vantage point from which to assess the impact of the Pentecostal movement upon social life in rural El Salvador and elsewhere in Latin America.

 

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