van de Kamp, Linda. 2016. Violent Conversion: Brazilian Pentecostalism and Urban Women in Mozambique. Oxford: James Currey.
Publisher’s Description: There has been an extraordinary growth in Pentecostalism in Africa, with Brazilian Pentecostals establishing new transnational Christian connections, initiating widespread changes not only in religious practice but in society. This book describes its rise in Maputo, capital of Mozambique, and the sometimes dramatic impact of Pentecostalism on women. Here large numbers of urban women are taking advantage of the opportunities Pentecostalism offers to overcome restrictions at home, pioneer new life spaces and change their lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Yet, conversion can also mean a violent rupturing with tradition, with family and with social networks. As the pastors encourage women to cut their ties with the past, including ancestral spirits, they come to see their kin and husbands as imbued with evil powers, and many leave their families. Conquering spheres that used to be forbidden to them, they often live alone as unmarried women, sometimes earning more than men of a similar age. They are also expected to donate huge sums to the churches, often money that they can ill afford, bringing new hardships.
van de Kamp, Linda. 2013. Public counselling: Brazilian Pentecostal intimate performances among urban women in Mozambique. Culture, Health & Sexuality, advanced online publication.
Abstract: Analysing the public character of Brazilian Pentecostal counselling sessions in urban Mozambique, this paper aims to examine the configurations of exposure through which counselling acquires and produces sociocultural forms of intimacy. During ‘therapy of love’ sessions held by the Brazilian Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, strict bodily acts need to be performed publicly to authorise love. Drawing on the notion of religious habitus, the paper focuses on how the performativity of Brazilian Pentecostal counselling practices responds to and shapes a public culture of love and intimacy among upwardly mobile women in urban Mozambique, and how the performative scripts converts carry out during therapy result in ambiguous relationships.
van de Kamp, Linda. 2012. Love Therapy: A Brazilian Pentecostal (Dis)connection in Maputo. In, The Social Life of Connectivity in Africa, Rijk van Dijk and Mirjam de Brujin, eds. p. 203-226. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Excerpt: “This chapter examines this public training of the body in ways of love, such as embracing and kissing, in relation to the changing practices of love an dnew gender roles in Maputo. I examine Brazilian Pentecostal counseling sessions on love and sexuality as a set of ‘connecting techniques’ where the terapia do amor serves as a key example. In line with the arguments running through this current volume, connecting techniques are specific forms of linking that people consider to open up new life options, such as the invention of new bodily modes and relationships. In the case of the therapy, the connecting techniques have two important meanings. First, the value of the Brazilian Pentecostal connections for Mozambican urban women is intrinsically related to its transnational aspects. The transnational Pentecostal bridge allows for disconnecting from existing forms of relating and learning about alternative ways of being and relating. Second, it appears that the embodiment of specific constructs, tools, or techniques (Foucault 1988) produces love and successful relations. To connect to alternative forms of love and marriage and to disconnect from older ones, the body plays a central role in realizing connections and effectuating sociocultural change. The last part of this chapter describes how the new modes of bridging and bonding through the embodiment of Brazilian Pentecostal techniques are also leading to insecure feelings and relationships” (p. 204).
van de Kamp, Linda. 2012. “Afro-Brazilian Pentecostal Re-formations of Relationships Across Two Generations of Mozambican Women.” Journal of Religion in Africa 42(4):433-452.
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.
van de Kamp, Linda. 2011. Converting the Spirit Spouse: the Violent Transformation of the Pentecostal Female Body in Maputo, Mozambique. Ethnos 76(4): 510-533.
Abstract: This article discusses the forceful transformation of the female body in Brazilian Pentecostalism in urban Mozambique and argues for an understanding of Pentecostal conversion as embodying spiritual warfare. Presenting the case of avenging spirits, such as the spirit spouse, it explores how spirits interfere in women’s new socio-economic positions and intimate relationships. Pentecostal women learn to stay in control of their body under guidance of the Holy Spirit and a ‘violent’ war against the spirit spouse unfolds. The prevalence of ‘violence’ implies that we should critically question a perception of conversion as bringing healing and harmony.
Klaver, Miranda and Linda van de Kamp. 2011. Embodied Temporalities in Global Pentecostal Conversion. Ethnos 76(4).
Abstract: The body is one of the most discussed topics in current studies of religion and society. Pentecostalism displays a remarkable sensorial and experiential form of religion and is therefore a most interesting domain to study the intersection of religion and embodiment. To avoid the pitfall of taking the feeling body for granted as a prime phenomenological reality, this thematic issue elaborates on the explicit strategies through which the religious body is formed in different societies. The dynamics of becoming and remaining a religious convert are displayed through a focus on the three specific interrelated issues of time, spirits and the subject.