Posts Tagged ‘Pentecostalism’

Cooper, “The Theology of Emergency”

February 3, 2014

Cooper, Melinda.  2014.  The Theology of Emergency: Welfare Reform, US Foreign Aid and the Faith-Based Initiative.  Theory, Culture, and Society.  Advanced online publication.

Abstract: This article addresses the rise of faith-based emergency relief by examining the US President’s Emergency Plan for HIV/AIDS (PEPFAR), a public health intervention focused on the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. It argues that the theological turn in humanitarian aid serves to amplify ongoing dynamics in the domestic politics of sub-Saharan African states, where social services have assumed the form of chronic emergency relief and religious organizations have come to play an increasingly prominent role in the provision of such services. In the context of an ongoing public health crisis, PEPFAR has institutionalized the social authority of the Pentecostal and charismatic churches, leading to a semantic confluence between the postcolonial politics of emergency and the Pentecostal/Pauline theology of kairos or event. Far from being confined to the space of foreign aid, however, the faith-based turn in humanitarianism is in keeping with ongoing reforms in domestic social policy in the United States. While on the one hand the sustained welfare programmes of the New Deal and Great Society have been dismantled in favour of a system of emergency relief, on the other hand the federal government has intensified its moral, pedagogical and punitive interventions into the lives of the poor. The wilful transfer of welfare services to overtly religious service providers has played a decisive role in this process. The article concludes with a critical appraisal of the links between African and North American Pentecostal-evangelical churches and questions the revolutionary mission ascribed to Pauline political theology in recent political theory.

Jennings, “Breaking Free to the Limit”

January 10, 2014

Jennings, Mark.  2014.  Breaking Free to the Limit: Playing with Foucault, Otto, and Pentecostal Experience.  Journal of Contemporary Religion 29(1): 33-45.

Abstract: This article explores different phenomenological approaches to understanding one of the central elements of Pentecostal spirituality: the ecstatic experience of the divine (often referred to as the ‘encounter’ of the divine). The article begins with a description, based upon participant observation, of a typical church service at ‘Breakfree’ Pentecostal church in suburban Perth, Western Australia. I then outline two phenomenological categories—one theistic, one non-theistic—which shed light on the significance of this experience. These categories are Rudolf Otto’s ‘numinous’ and Michel Foucault’s ‘limit experience’. It is demonstrated that neither of these can be prioritised, as both require an a priori position on the status of the divine. Instead of choosing one or the other, it is argued that both Otto and Foucault provide a resource for understanding and assessing the Breakfree encounter. The article concludes with the observation that a more playful methodology—one that allows the scholar to draw on theistic and non-theistic categories simultaneously—is required.

Krause, “Space in Pentecostal Healing”

January 9, 2014

Krause, Kristine. 2014. Space in Pentecostal Healing Practices among Ghanian Migrants in London. Medical Anthropology 33(1): 37-51.

Abstract: In this article I analyze different spatial practices related to Pentecostal healing, drawing on fieldwork with Pentecostal believers who have migrated from Ghana to London, UK. I explore the relationship between space and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit by looking at how points of contact with the divine are created in the personal life of people and at the sites where the casting out of demons takes place. Unlike in other spirit-centered healing traditions, the Christian Holy Spirit is not conceived of as embodied in specific places, but rather is spatially unbound. To manifest, however, the Holy Spirit requires specific spatial qualities and esthetics.

Onuoha, “‘Exit’ and ‘Inclusion'”

December 20, 2013

Onuoha, Godwin. 2013. “Exit” and “Inclusion”: The Changing Paradigm of Pentecostal Expression in the Nigerian Public Sphere. In Topographies of Faith: Religion in Urban Spaces, Edited by Irene Becci, Marian Burchardt, and José Casanova, 207-226. Leiden: Brill.

McVicar, “Take Away the Serpents from Us”

December 20, 2013

McVicar, Michael J. 2013. “Take Away the Serpents from Us”: The Sign of Serpent Handling and the Development of Southern Pentecostalism.  Journal of Southern Religion 15.

Excerpt: This essay reassesses serpent handling’s place in the history of the early holiness-pentecostal movement.8 It explores the problem the five signs enumerated in the Gospel of Mark 16:15–18—speaking in tongues, healing the sick, casting out demons, handling snakes, and drinking poison—posed for pentecostals in the South during the first half of the twentieth century. 9 Close readings of early twentieth-century printed sources from the holiness-pentecostal and secular presses indicate that authors and audiences viewed serpent handling as a new, innovative, and threatening religious practice. The arguments documented in these sources suggest that the identification of serpent handling as a specific practice limited to a small religious subgroup helped establish the boundaries of what today are generally recognized as legitimate pentecostal worship in the United States. Ultimately, these processes of socio-symbolic differentiation inside pentecostalism paralleled the legal construction of snake handlers as criminals whose bodies and behavior required regulation through ecclesiastic and state disciplinary mechanisms.

Aubrée, ‘Latin-American and Asiatic neo-Protestantisms’

December 16, 2013

Aubrée, Marion.  2013.  Latin-American and Asiatic neo-Protestantisms: A comparative study. Social Compass 60(4): 517-526.

Abstract: Throughout the 20th century, the expansion of North American Pentecostal and neo-evangelical movements was greatest in the traditionally Catholic countries of Latin America. And in the 1960s the first scientific analysis related to the overseas development of this movement was of Brazil, Chile and Argentina. More recently the conversion process has spread into Africa and as far as Asia. The various dynamics perceptible in the Pentecostal movement today in Southeast Asian cultures clearly made it pertinent to undertake a comparison between the Latino-American and Southeast Asian situations by considering, as the author proposes, the various methods and concepts developed over the last seventy years in the study of the neo-evangelical movements.

Haynes, “Change and Chisungu in Zambia’s Time of AIDS”

December 3, 2013

Haynes, Naomi.  2013.  Change and Chisungu in Zambia’s Time of AIDS.  Ethnos (advance online publication).

Abstract: Through an examination of amafunde – a Bemba word meaning ‘instruction’, which refers to the training given to a young woman before her marriage – this article explores the social changes that have followed widespread HIV infection on the Zambian Copperbelt. Amafunde today are marked by openness between senior women and those they train for marriage, an openness that they encourage their charges to adopt in married life. This emphasis on direct or ‘straight’ speech stands in stark contrast to earlier accounts of female initiation in Zambia, which highlight ‘obscure’ modes of communication. An analysis of this change reveals the increased importance of both secrecy and disclosure in Zambia’s time of AIDS, as well as the influence of Pentecostal Christianity. Most importantly, it indexes changes in the social forms that the interplay of secrecy and disclosure has traditionally produced.

Brahinsky, “Cultivating Discontinuity”

November 29, 2013

Brahinsky, Josh. 2013. Cultivating Discontinuity: Pentecostal Pedagogies of Yielding and Control. Anthropology & Education Quarterly 44(4): 399-422.

Abstract: Exploring missionary study at an Assemblies of God Bible college through ethnography and training manuals demonstrates systematic pedagogies that cultivate sensory capabilities encouraging yielding, opening to rupture, and constraint. Ritual theory and the Anthropology of Christianity shift analytic scales to include “cultivation,“ a “third term“ enabling simultaneous apprehension and consolidating of the oppositions (experience–doctrine, revival–church, or spontaneous rupture–restrained continuity) internal and central to Pentecostalism. Further, cultivation complicates valorizations of the disjunctive “event“ as militant radical icon.

Film, “Enlarging the Kingdom”

November 12, 2013

Butticci, Annalisa and Andrew Esiebo. 2013. Enlarging the Kingdom: African Pentecostals in Italy. 35 min.

Filmmaker’s Description: Enlarging the Kingdom explores the encounter, interactions, and conflicts between Catholicism and African Pentecostalism. By putting in conversation Nigerian and Ghanaian Pastors and Catholic Priests the documentary looks at their diverse understanding of evil forces, authorized and unauthorized forms of relating to the Divine, the making of idols and icons, religious leadership and authority, women access to the pulpit and religious politics of the Italian Nation State. Enlarging the Kingdom offers a unique insight into the challenges of African Pentecostals in Italy and the role of Pentecostal Churches for African immigrant communities.

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