Inter-religious Demonisation and Its Persuasiveness

The Case of a Newly Emerged Church in Southern Benin

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
Ran Muratsu African Studies Center-Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Tokyo Japan

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This study investigates the Banamè Church, which has gained significant persuasive powers for conversion in Southern Benin, where the public is intensely afraid of witches and Pentecostal Charismatic Churches have expanded rapidly to fight against them. The Banamè Church claims that God came down and took the body of a girl called Parfaite and denies the authenticity of all other churches and religions. To understand how people have come to accept this as reality, it is necessary to examine not only economic and political dynamics and newly evolved relationships but also the reciprocal demonisation between religions and the affective persuasiveness that has emerged in these inter-religious correspondences. This study demonstrates how rationalisation and persuasion occur affectively and spirits become a reality in an entanglement of materials, discourses, media, and feelings against the backdrop of the contemporary expansion of Pentecostal Charismatic Churches, revealing the importance of focusing on inter-religious affective turbulence.

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