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Healing the Wounds of Modernity: Salvation, Community and Care in a Neo-Pentecostal Church in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
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  • 1 Department of Anthropology and Center for African Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-5560, USA
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Abstract

The responses of Christian religions to HIV/AIDS in Africa have been described either with regard to the stigmatising attitudes of churches, or with reference to the charitable acts of Christian organisations in the context of the epidemic. Drawing on fieldwork in a Neo-Pentecostal church in urban Tanzania, this article shows that the Full Gospel Bible Fellowship Church in Dar es Salaam is becoming highly attractive to its followers because of the social, spiritual and economic perspectives that it offers, and particularly because of the networks of healing and support that it has established under the circumstances of urbanisation, structural reform programmes and the AIDS epidemic. The author argues for a stronger focus on practices of healing and community building in studies on Pentecostalism, which may shed light on the continuities as well as the ruptures that are produced by the rise of Neo-Pentecostalism in the context of globalisation, modernity and HIV/AIDS.

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