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In many parts of Africa, charismatic-Pentecostal churches are increasingly and effectively making use of mass media and entering the public sphere. This article presents a case study of a popular charismatic church in Ghana and its media ministry. Building on the notion of charisma as intrinsically linking religion and media, the aim is to examine the dynamics between the supposedly fluid nature of charisma and the creation of religious subjects through a fixed format. The process of making, broadcasting and watching Living Word shows how the format of televisualisation of religious practice creates charisma, informs ways of perception, and produces new kinds of religious subjectivity and spiritual experience. Through the mass mediation of religion a new religious format emerges, which, although originating from the charismatic-Pentecostal churches, spreads far beyond and is widely appropriated as a style of worship and of being religious.

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
In: Religion Crossing Boundaries
In: Jahrbuch für Europäische Ethnologie Dritte Folge 12–2017

This article focuses on the recent emergence of an “Afro-Dutch” category of self-identification among young people in Amsterdam. Dutch-born youth of different Afro-Caribbean and African backgrounds show a new sense of (and search for) a shared African heritage, and a growing desire for public exposure and recognition of this Africanness. Manifesting in, for example, media initiatives, performing arts, cultural festivals, and bodily fashions, this trend is characterized by an aesthetic emphasis on globalized African styles and by political struggles about the inclusion of African heritage in Dutch imaginations of nationhood. Approaching Africanness as a process of becoming and a practice of self-styling, this article explores the convergence between the renewed interest in African roots among Dutch-born Afro-Caribbeans and the ways in which Ghanaian youth engage with their African origins. It discerns three prominent, but contested tropes with regard to their framing and design of Africanness: “African heritage”, “blackness” and “Afro-cool”.

Open Access
In: African Diaspora


Charismatic-Pentecostal ‘media ministries’ have become very successful in Africa’s new media fields. They shape new forms of public religiosity that spill over into various forms of popular culture and resonate with broad audiences. This article explores the emergence of new Pentecostal publics at the intersection of media, religion, and entertainment in Ghana, raising critical questions concerning the relations between these domains. It analyses two different religious television broadcasts: a television ministry by a well-known celebrity pastor and a gospel reality show featuring a preaching competition for youth. It also considers the debates and concerns such programmes evoke locally. The analysis shows that Pentecostalism’s employment of popular media and entertainment styles is an effective source of persuasive power, but also poses challenges with regard to binding people as committed Christians. The blurring of boundaries between religion and entertainment business causes insecurities about the authenticity of religious authority and religious subjectivity.

In: Exchange
In: African Diaspora
Seit Jahrhunderten haben die vom internationalen Handel der Hafenstädte geprägten Niederlande Einwanderer angezogen. Migration ist hier nicht zuletzt als Gegenwart kolonialer Vergangenheit Teil der Alltagserfahrung.
Die Beiträge setzen sich im Sinne einer Europäischen Ethnologie und Kulturanthropologie mit dem gestiegenen Komplexitätsniveau der niederländischen Gesellschaft auseinander. Ihr besonderes Interesse gilt der Beschreibung und Analyse des Zusammenspiels unterschiedlicher Komponenten von Fremd- und Selbstwahrnehmung, von Identitäten-Generierung und von Formen der Lebensgestaltung. Ihre Analysen knüpfen an aktuelle gesellschaftspolitische Debatten um ‚Zuwanderung‘, ‚Integration‘, ‚niederländische Kultur‘ und ‚kulturelles Erbe‘ an.