Over the past two decades Nigeria has become a hotbed of Pentecostal activity. It is the view of this study that Pentecostal visibility in Nigeria has been enhanced not just by Pentecostals’ aggressive utilization of media technology for proselytization as claimed by previous scholars, but also by their appropriation of public spaces for worship. This study not only focuses on the church in the cinema hall, but also on churches in nightclubs, hotels, and other such places previously demonized as ‘abode[s] of sin’ by classical Pentecostals. This paper argues that users’ perception of public spaces having rigid meanings and unchanging usage was responsible for much of the tensions experienced. It would be more useful for academic analysts and various ‘publics’ to construe such spaces as dynamic sites, at once reflecting mutations in the public sphere, responsive to local and global socio-economic processes, and amenable to periodic reinventions and negotiations.
This article introduces Religion & Development as a new transdisciplinary journal focusing on the nexus between religion and development. It outlines the motivation for establishing the new periodical along three central themes: the move towards sustainable development as dominant development paradigm; the reinvigoration of the post-development debate; and the emerging academic, policy and practice field of religion and development. The discussion proceeds to highlight the envisaged task of the journal as well as its transdisciplinary and collaborative span. Moreover, it delineates Religion & Development’s core editorial policies, before setting the scene for the contributions of the journal’s first issue.