Elisha, “Saved by a Martyr”

Omri Elisha, 2016. “Saved by a Martyr: Evangelical Mediation, Sanctification, and the “Persecuted Church” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 84(4): 1056-1080.
Abstract:This article examines the significance of mediation in the public programming and activism of The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), an organization that offers international aid and advocacy to Christians identified as victims of persecution. Focusing on VOM’s efforts to rally Westerners, especially evangelical Protestants, I argue that the antipersecution movement urges supporters to share the mantle of martyrdom by engaging in purposeful acts of religious mediation, including the consumption and circulation of martyrological media. I explore a related tendency among evangelicals to valorize non-Western Christians in precarious circumstances as exemplars of self-sacrificing piety, whose suffering represents and inspires conditions of sanctification. Drawing on media analysis and fieldwork, I explore how practices of mediation, as forms of “witness,” invite evangelicals to embody otherwise elusive virtues and modes of agency associated with Christian martyrs, while reflecting ambiguous modern conceptions of the nature of embodied suffering and the relationship between vulnerability and power.

Monnot, “Testimonies of Suffering in a Charismatic Community”

Monnot, Christophe. 2016. “From the Pit to the Pulpit: Testimonies of Suffering in a Charismatic Community.” In Religious Diversity Today: Experiencing Religion in the Contemporary World. Edited by Liam D. Murphy, 23-42. Santa Barbara: Praeger.

Excerpt: “Charismatic Christianity is defined by supernatural gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophesying, healing, and other miracles. Among Swiss Protestants, non-Pentecostal evangelical churches have adopted these charismatic gifts. Believing in miracles, charismatic groups and congregations pray for all ill persons. They support the idea that the righteous are blessed with well-being and health. With this understanding, how can Christian charismatic believers speak about their suffering to religious peers? This study tries to answer that question through an analysis of four testimonies given during a charismatic worship service.”

Everett & Ramirez, “Healing the Curse of the grosero Husband”

Everett, Margaret & Michelle Ramirez. 2015.  Healing the Curse of the grosero Husband: Women’s Health Seeking and Pentecostal Conversion in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Journal of Contemporary Religion, 30(3): 415-433.

Abstract: Drawing on anthropological research in Oaxaca, Mexico, this article describes the role of health seeking in women’s experiences with Pentecostal conversion. The present study confirms that Pentecostalism’s promise of reforming problematic male behavior is a significant draw for women. Women’s stories of conversion are strikingly consistent in their accounts of male drinking, womanizing, and domestic violence. However, the findings also demonstrate that when efforts to domesticate men fail—and they often do—women still find significant ways in which Pentecostalism addresses suffering. The study provides a unique contribution to the literature by exploring that paradox in detail.