Blackness has become the discursive site for assessing, negotiating, and appropriating the meaning of spirituality as socioeconomic dislocations of Nigeria mingle with an increasing awareness of the “lowly lot of black humanity.” The discourse began with disciplining the body but quickly moved on to the normalization of a nation chosen by God to spearhead the final evangelization of the world and to lead the black race into global technological and economic supremacy. Here I want to trace a line from the ways the body is disciplined to the protocols of race and discourse of sovereignty. In other words, I want to map the movement of pentecostal thought from spirituality that focuses on the purity of the body to spirituality that focuses on the purity of the body politic. Unlike the Duke School, I place the belief in chosenness that permeates the Abrahamic religions at the core of the emerging pentecostal “racial theology.”
Is Harvey Cox’s Fire from Heaven which focused on Pentecostalism merely a mea culpa for the hubris of predicting the death of God in the 1960s or a case of using the “pentecostalization” of religions to describe the shape of religiosity in the emerging global civil society, global secular city? This essay shows how theologically liberal ideas in both his Fire from Heaven and Secular City are today used to theologize the relevant shape of faith in the global civil society in ways that hauntingly suggest Pentecostalism is implicated in the emergence and working of the global secular city which reject notions of transcendence in religion. The essay then challenges pentecostal theologians to seriously consider the question: In what way is Pentecostalism already secularized or secularizing from its core?
How does religion or worldview affect business practices and ethics? This tradition of inquiry goes back, at least, to Max Weber who, in the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, explored the impact of theological suppositions on capitalist economic development. But the connection can also go the other way. So the focus of inquiry can become: How does business ethics or practices affect ethics in a given nation or corporation? This paper inquires into how the political and economic conditions created and sustained by nineteenth-century trading community in the Niger Delta influenced religious practices or ethics of Christian missionaries. This approach to mission study is necessary not only because we want to further understand the work of Christian missions and also to tease out the effect of business ethics on religious ethics, but also because Christian missionaries came to the Niger Delta in the nineteenth century behind foreign merchants.