Posts Tagged ‘hierarchy’

Haynes, “On the Potential and Problems of Pentecostal Exchange”

February 25, 2013

Hanyes, Naomi. 2013. “On the Potential and Problems of Pentecostal Exchange.” American Anthropologist 115(1):85-95.

Abstract: In this article, I draw on ethnography from the Zambian Copperbelt to examine the social productivity of the Pentecostal prosperity gospel, a Christian movement centered on the idea that it is God’s will for believers to be wealthy. In the light of the challenges that recent economic history has posed to Copperbelt relational life, Pentecostalism has become an important source of hierarchy—and, therefore, of social organization. This social productivity is evident in the complex patterns of exchange that emerge as believers make gifts to God and religious leaders. An analysis of Pentecostal exchange reveals that the hierarchical relationships forged through religious adherence are often in danger of being undermined by economic concerns, and prosperity gospel practice is therefore continually mobilized to protect these ties. In this discussion, I foreground the position of Pentecostalism among the repertoire of ideas, practices, and beliefs involved in negotiating social life in times of economic uncertainty.

Advertisements

Rodemeier, “Everyone is a potential leader”

December 19, 2012

Rodemeier, Susanne.  2012.  “Everyone is a potential leader” – attractiveness of a charismatic Church in Solo, Java (Indonesia).  Ekonomia 3(20)/2012: 45-58.

Abstract:  The evangelical-charismatic Family of God Church (GBI-KA: Gereja Bethel Indonesia – Keluarga Allah) was founded in the Javanese town of Solo and is currently booming, especially in predominantly Muslim surroundings. The reason why so many Christians prefer specifically this church over several other churches in town is still unknown. After doing ethnographic field research in 2011, I suggest that the reasons for its boom are not so much the economy or successful business relations, as was perhaps the case up tol five years ago. To prove my findings, I will take a closer look at the Family of God Church’s economic and social system as well as its internal structure. It is quite obvious that this church, like many other churches, fills a gap in Indonesian social politics. But what is different about the Family of God Church is its inner cell-structure, which sees everyone as a potential leader. This structure picks up the idea of the International Charismatic Mission Church (ICMC) of G12 cell churches. The idea is to build an endlessly growing organism of cells and then add a spiritual component by organising these cells in groups of twelve to evoke the idea of Jesus and his twelve apostles. Next to the attractive spiritual component, this organisational structure stands out in contrast to the Javanese traditional social system as it offers individuals the chance to move up the hierarchical ladder. Furthermore, the masses of the fast growing population are broken down into small groups who share the same aim, i.e. to experience Jesus or to be “born again” (melahirkan kembali), as they call it.

Pons “The Anthropology of Christianity in the Faroe Islands”

February 19, 2012

Pons, Christophe (2011) “The Anthropology of Christianity in the Faroe Islands: What the fringes of the Faroese religious configuration have to say about Christianity,” in Firouz Gaini (ed)Among the Islanders of the North: An Anthropology of the Faroe Islands. Tórshavn: Faroe University Press

Excerpt: “At the beginnings of the 1980s, in the remote villages of the small North Atlantic archipelago of the  Faroe Islands, some people started talking about Jesus in a different way. They said that Jesus was with them all the time, that he was their fellow, their best friend, that he opened their eyes and their hearts. They claimed that Jesus saved them by offering them freedom and that they were dong some new kind of evangelization in a proselytical and aggressive way. At first the Faroese people found this a little strange. But with time, the Friends of Jesus – as we shall call them – became part of the Faroese religious landscape . . . “

%d bloggers like this: