Abstract: Scholars of Pentecostalism in Africa have repeatedly shown that this religion generally attracts younger generations who perceive the Pentecostal theology of liberation from the bonds of kinship, tradition, and elders as very powerful. This article contributes to the existing scholarly field by examining how different generations of working women and female students in Mozambique find the Afro-Brazilian Pentecostal teachings and practices attractive, particularly when it comes to reshaping their relationships with kin, (ancestral) spirits, and men. It considers how Afro-Brazilian Pentecostalism is helping both younger and older women to reorder their relationships. Drawing on the concept of heterotopia, the role of age is highlighted to demonstrate that Afro-Brazilian Pentecostalism actively seeks to erase important generational hierarchies and differences, turning them into spiritual issues that affect all women regardless of age or generation.
Abstract: This article considers how well Martin Riesebrodt’s practice-centered theory of religion addresses religious change among Catholics in eastern Africa. Two arguments are advanced using a generational change scheme. First, Riesebrodt’s focus on religious practices assists in understanding many changes that African Catholics and their communities have experienced over time. It acknowledges believers’ perspectives and the impact of missionaries, and it generates comparative insights across different cases. However, Riesebrodt’s approach has limitations when developing a comparative perspective on historical transformation in these communities. Therefore, his focus on the objective meaning of interventionist religious practices needs supplementing: (1) capturing religious change within a given religion requires attention both to practices and their subjective appropriation by believers, and (2) in the forging of collective identities, theological reflection by elites helped connect Catholic practices to preexisting worldviews and Catholic practices marked generational change by distinguishing Catholics from other African Christians.