Kingdom Culture?

Transnational Word of Faith Networks

In: Social Sciences and Missions

The Harvest Ministry, an independent Fijian Pentecostal church that sends missionaries to East Africa, Asia, Europe and the Pacific, sees itself as embedded in a transnational community of Christians sharing a common “kingdom culture.” Transnational Pentecostal networks are often seen by scholars and believers as a vehicle for disembedding individuals from local social groups and promoting individual-centered moral systems. Fijians, Papua New Guineans and East Africans use similar themes and images in sermons. But there are significant differences in meaning leading to tensions between groups indicating that local identities are reinforced. All groups stress the importance of community.

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    Excerpt from sermon given in August 2010.

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    Fer, Yannick, “Polynesian Protestantism: From Local Church to Evangelical Networks,” Archives de sciences sociales des religions, Vol. 2012 (1), 2012, pp. 47–67. Summarizes and argues against this literature.

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    See for example, Englund, Harri, “Christian Independency and Global Membership: Pentecostal Extraversions in Malawi,” Journal of Religion in Africa, Vol. 33 (1), 2003, pp. 83–111; Fer, Y., “Polynesian Protestantism …”; Marshall-Fratani, Ruth, “Mediating the Global and Local in Nigerian Pentecostalism,” Journal of Religion in Africa, Vol. 28 (3), 1998, pp. 278–315.

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    See also: Barker, John, “The One of the Many: Church-Centered Innovations in a Papua New Guinea Community,” Current Anthropology, Vol. 55 (S10), 2014, pp. S172–S181; Coleman, S., The Globalisation …; Elisha, Omri, Moral Ambitions. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011; Handman, Courtney, Denominational Conflict in Papua New Guinea. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015; Haynes, Naomi, “Pentecostalism and the Morality of Money: Prosperity, Inequality, and Religious Sociality on the Zambian Copperbelt,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 18, 2009, pp. 123–139.

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    Newland, Lynda, “Miracle Workers and Nationhood: Reinhardt Bonnke and Benny Hinn in Fiji”, The Contemporary Pacific, Vol. 22 (1), 2010, pp. 74–99: p. 84.

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    See for instance: Brison, Karen J., “Fijian and Papua New Guinean Missionaries in Global Pentecostal Networks,” Ethnology, Vol. 51, 2012, pp. 93–109; Harrison, Milmon F., Righteous Riches: The Word of Faith Movement in Contemporary African American Religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005; Klaits, Frederick and Shenita A. McLean, “Valuing Black Lives: Pentecostalism, Charismatic Gifts, and Human Economies in a U.S. Inner city,” American Ethnologist, Vol 42(4), 2015, pp. 610–623.

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    Excerpt from sermon in August 2010.

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    Brison, K.J., “The Empire Strikes Back: Pentecostalism in Fiji,” Ethnology Vol. 46(1), 2007, pp. 21–39; Brison K.J., “Fijian and Papua New Guinean …”

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    Bayart, Jean-Francois and Ellis, Stephen, “Africa in the World: A History of Extraversion,” African Affairs, Vol. 99 (395), 2000, pp. 217–267.

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    Robbins, Joel, “On Reading ‘World News’: Apocalyptic Narrative, Negative Nationalism, and Transnational Christianity in a Papua New Guinea Society,” Social Analysis, Vol. 42(2), 1998, pp. 299–316.

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