Abstract: Drawing on ethnography from central Greece, this article is about the way people narrate their encounters with the devil. Although it echoes the idea that life as told and life as lived are structured in the same way, it takes the argument a step further by suggesting they are structured through a narrative plot wherein the present and the future of the story-tellers pre-date the past of which their stories tell. It also foregrounds the link between this structure and a particular kind of morality which replicates the narrative logic of the stories, giving rise to an inherently relational personhood – a personhood that, just like the way in which its narration destabilizes the logic of before and after, destabilizes the distinction between self and other. Lastly, contextualizing the current economic crisis in the lives of such persons, the article suggests we need to think of it in relation to the devil and the stories people tell of him.
Abstract: This paper examines the contextualization of the Jesus story by Ghanaian Christians. It approaches it through the analysis and evaluation of inherent ideas in their songs, sermons and practices that reflect their interpretation of the Christian experience in relation to primal religion and culture, and the Bible. The results show that Ghanaian Christians do not play down the ubiquity of evil in the world. Nonetheless, they see in Jesus Christ the incomparable, victorious Saviour who has made it possible for believers to overcome the evils of this world. Accordingly, they insist that in Christ believers can enjoy “full” and “complete” salvation in every area of life.
Heuser, Andreas (2011) “‘Put on God’s Armour Now!’: the Embattled Body in African Pentecostal-type Christianity” in Sebastian Jobs and Gesa Mackenthun, eds., Embodiments of Cultural Encounters. Munster: Wasmann Verlag.
Excerpt: “Arjun Appadurai distinguishes “hard” from “soft” cultural forms by discussing processes of indigenization . . The argument that I have presented here is that the ‘theology of the embattled body’ in African Pentecostal-type Christianity has developed in to such a “hard cultural form.” . . .Pneumatology, the central theological dimension in African Pentecostal-style Christianity, reviles around the twin formula of an enacted demonology and an elaborated devil complex. . . As a hard cultural form, with all its moral, spiritual, and ritual virtues, the theology of the embattled body resist reinterpretation. In few of the gendered body politics in African Pentecostal-type churches, it changes those who are socialized in it more readily than it permits transformation of the established texture of the devil complex. . . “