Abstract: Africa has become a key site of masculinity politics, that is, of mobilisations and struggles where masculine gender is made a principal theme and subjected to change. Pentecostalism is widely considered to present a particular form of masculinity politics in contemporary African societies. Scholarship on African Pentecostal masculinities has mainly centred around the thesis of the domestication of men, focusing on changes in domestic spheres and in marital and intimate relations. Through an analysis of a sermon series preached by a prominent Zambian Pentecostal pastor, this article demonstrates that Pentecostal discourse on adult, middle- to upper-class masculinity is also highly concerned with men’s roles in sociopolitical spheres. It argues that in this case study the construction of a born-again masculinity is part of the broader Pentecostal political project of national redemption, which in Zambia has particular significance in light of the country constitutionally being a Christian nation. Hence the article examines how this construction of Pentecostal masculinity relates to broader notions of religious, political and gendered citizenship.
Abstract: Drawing upon extensive oral history interviews and long scale participant observation in two London churches, an ethnically diverse Catholic parish in Canning Town and a predominantly West-African Pentecostal congregation in Peckham, this article compares and contrasts differing Christian expressions and understandings of ‘civic engagement’ and gendered articulations of lay social ‘ministry’ through prayer, religious praxis and local politics. Through community organizing and involvement in the third sector, but also through spiritual activities like the ‘Catholic Prayer Ministry’ and ‘deliverance’, Catholics and Pentecostals are shown to be re-mapping London – a city ripe for reverse mission – through contesting ‘secularist’ and implicitly gendered distinctions between the public and private/domestic, and the spiritual and political. Greater scholarly appreciation of these subjective understandings of civic engagement and social activism is important for fully recognizing the agency of lay people,and particularly women often marginalized in church-based and institutional hierarchies, in articulating and actuating their call to Christian citizenship and the (re)sacralization of the city
Abstract: This article considers the role and place of ‘New’ Pentecostals (Neo-Pentecostals) in modern social, cultural and political processes in Russia and their attempts to contribute to creating a new ‘national idea’ for postsoviet Russian society. I look at the context of current debate on the latter subject: socialists call for a reproduction of the Soviet experience; others call for building an ‘Orthodox Russia’; others support a ‘conservative synthesis’ which looks back at previous experience of state-building with a multiconfessional and multiethnic character and involves building a religious and moral basis on Orthodoxy and other ‘traditional religions’; yet others support the liberal model and the integration of Russia into the western world. In this context I consider various aspects of Pentecostal participation: their current practical activities (charitable activity and support for democracy and human rights); the building of a theocratic (Christian) state; the study of the Russian religious heritage and an attempt to synthesise Orthodox and Protestant (Evangelical) traditions; and prayer for the country in the apocalyptic perspective.
Abstract: Since the reestablishment of democracy in Chile, Evangelicals have been becoming more prominent in society. Their communities foster civic skills among their members, and this fact, taken together with the gradual raising of their economic and educational level, could transform the Evangelicals into a ‘cultural citizenship’. Nevertheless, my study project shows that in spite of the extensive community work that Evangelical churches are developing, and their respect for democracy, they continue to be depoliticised and distanced from the main national problems. The Evangelical community is concerned about its rights, but it tends to act in defence of its corporate interests rather than in the national perspective, which decreases its involvement in the developing democracy.
Publisher’s Description: In recent years, anthropologists have increasingly viewed Christian conversion as a form of rupture from the past. But what happens if the people with whom they work begin to speak a language of continuity and sameness with that past? In this richly contextualized study, Liana Chua explores how a largely Christian Bidayuh community has been reconfiguring its relationship to its old animist rituals through the trope and politics of “culture.” Placing her ethnography in dialogue with developments in the nascent anthropology of Christianity, Chua argues that such efforts at “continuity speaking” are the product not only of Malaysian cultural politics, but also of conversion and Christianity itself. This book invites scholars to rethink the nature and scope of conversion, as well as the multifarious, yet distinctive, forms that Christianity can take.