Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 16,352 items for :

  • Linguistics x
  • Open accessible content x
  • Chapters/Articles x
Clear All Modify Search

Series:

Stian Sørlie Eriksen, Tomas Sundnes Drønen and Ingrid Løland

Abstract

African migrant Christianity is a field that has attracted increased academic interest in recent decades. To add to the literature on the subject, this chapter will shed light on the following question: How does simultaneity in transnational and transcultural relations influence Christian identity construction? Of particular interest is the role that technology plays in the relationship between churches in Africa and in their diaspora communities, in terms of both individual identity construction and changes in the relationship between private and public religion. The strong impact of Nigerian Pentecostal communities in several European countries, Norway in particular, and their intensified use of the internet, disfavors theories of delocalized identities, but argues in support of relocalization of identities through these transnational Pentecostal networks.

Series:

Rune Flikke

Abstract

Spiritual possessions are central sources of divine knowledge in African Independent Churches (aic). This has been a source of contention between the mission churches and the aic, but emphasized as a common Biblical foundation shared with the Pentecostal movement. In this chapter I use ethnographic cases from fieldwork in a Zulu Zionist congregation to argue that the script spirit possessions follow resonates with historical material on Zulu ritual practices. Furthermore, I will argue that Zulu terminology suggest that the experiences of being filled by the Holy Spirit and ancestral spirits, are closely related to interactions with air. In conclusion I suggest that we comparatively have much to gain from situating Zulu Zionist ritual practices and experiences with spirit possession as aspects of human haptic interaction with the weather-world.

Series:

Isabel Mukonyora

Abstract

This article suggests that the sacred texts called The Gospel of God were written as a way of remembering religious experiences by drawing attention to the reality of oppression, human suffering, and the wilderness as a place to retreat to for prayer. It is argued that stories found in the Bible have been dramatized and embodied by Johane Masowe, the founder of the Masowe Apostles, who created the oral tradition of Christianity described in The Gospel of God. Briefly, it is shown how, following the founder figure’s example, the Masowe Apostles continue to perform their knowledge about God in ways that involve the wilderness, symbolic speech, and ritual behavior aimed at meeting the spiritual needs of believers who recognize themselves, as oppressed, poor and/or sick. In this era of climate change, it is worth sharing a few ideas about the way Masowe Apostles develop theological notions through the lens of human suffering and hope for healing the earth, thereby turning the elements of nature into symbolic speech for God.

Series:

Karen Lauterbach

Abstract

The prosperity gospel has gained visibility and prominence over the past decades as an empirical and theological trend, as well as in scholarship on African charismatic Christianity. This chapter provides a critical discussion of how the prosperity gospel has been approached in the literature. It discusses in particular how giving and receiving, and the relationships this entail, has been analyzed from an instrumental perspective by seeing it as a disrupted relationship of exchange if the giver does not receive a material blessing. I argue that most analytical approaches have seen the prosperity gospel as a script in the sense that it is approached as a coherent system of thought. Instead of taking the prosperity gospel as the analytical focus, I suggest that studying different modalities of exchange provides a broader understanding of what is considered legitimate and what is considered dubious or fake in the charismatic Christian context and beyond. The argument of the chapter is that by combining the study of the prosperity gospel with an analysis of everyday theology we gain a more nuanced understanding of the role of wealth and money in charismatic Christianity in Africa that moves beyond what is encapsulated in the idea of the prosperity gospel.

Series:

Frans Wijsen

Abstract

The goal of this book is to overcome the historic divisions in the study of African Christianity between theology and the social sciences. The aim is to build interpretative bridges between African enchanted worldviews and Western academic interpretations as well as between anthropology and theology. In this chapter, I analyze a debate between African and non-African members of the African Association for the Study of Religions, more particularly, between advocates of religionist (or theological) and agnostic (or scientific) approaches in the study of African religions. On closer inspection, the divide is not between African and non-African scholars, but within both scholarly communities.

Series:

Lotta Gammelin

Abstract

Gospel Miracle Church for All People (gmcl) in Mbeya, Tanzania, founded and led by Prophet Mpanji has a healing and exorcism session as the culmination point of each Sunday service. This healing is loud, spectacular and gendered. Most of the sick are women in their reproductive years and spirit possession causing the sicknesses is related to female sexuality. Often it is the female ancestors or living elderly women involved in witchcraft who are behind the problems and thus this practice can be interpreted as creating a break with the past. Problems with fertility occur constantly among the sick women that can also relate to spirits using women sexually for procreating additional demons. They also portray women’s loss of agency and control over their lives. The stories of healing and practices of healing can be seen as control over female sexuality and fertility while healing is also restoration of moral agency.

Series:

Hans Olsson

Abstract

Today, spiritual warfare is an increasingly prominent feature within Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity in Africa. This chapter assesses the significance spiritual warfare has gained in the predominantly Muslim context of Zanzibar. By focusing on how narratives of spiritual war shape migrant Pentecostals’ interpretations of violence experienced in 2012, and how spiritual warfare can be seen to produce a public culture, the chapter addresses how spiritual practice becomes entangled in a complex socio-political field in which religious and ethno-national sites of belonging intermingle. It highlights the implications of Pentecostals’ aspirations for social change and the publicity inherent in the hermeneutics of spiritual warfare.

Series:

Mika Vähäkangas

Abstract

Theology, when understood as the process of meaning-making targeted at the Christian faith, is not only or even primarily a textual activity but, rather, it first happens in the lived faith of a community. In cases when there is not much written theology, or when the non-written meaning-making differs significantly from the theological texts, one needs to study theology empirically. In this chapter, a theological methodology is developed in order to contribute to analyzing the Kimbanguist doctrine of incarnation between oral and written spheres. This is done in dialogue with anthropology. Dialogical interview approach is gleaned from Odera Oruka’s philosophy of sagacity. The role of observation as a key to interpreting the interviews and the existing Kimbanguist texts is defined and the manner of analysis is formulated to correspond with the cultural context.

Series:

Elina Hankela

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to envision ethnography as a method of doing liberationist theology/ethics. The notion of conversion, liberation-theologically understood, is used to interrogate what is required from ethnography if it is to be a part of reimagining knowledge production and the world in the decolonial moment. The particular themes addressed rise from my own fieldwork experiences as a white Finnish ethnographer in South Africa: engaging with theory from Africa; writing from a white and middle-class body in South Africa; growing in long-term relationships with persons in marginalized communities; and the limits to thinking of conscientization as a source of liberationist knowledge. Overall, conversion provides a tangible metaphor for discerning what is required of liberationist ethnography, here in the particular context of my research. Yet conversion is ongoing: whether and how to cross social/symbolic boundaries in ethnographic research as a privileged individual must remain an open question, only partially answered at any given moment.