Gender, Social Change and Spiritual Power

Charismatic Christianity in Ghana


Charismatic Christianity is the most recent and fastest growing expression of Pentecostal religion in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Ghana's capital, Accra, the charismatic churches dominate the religious scene. This book focuses on the gender discourses of Ghana's new churches, and considers charismatic perspectives on womanhood, manhood, marriage and family life. Offering a fresh perspective on the organisational structures of the charismatic churches, this study looks at the leadership roles of female pastors and pastors' wives, and draws attention to the links between female leaders and spiritual power. By highlighting the importance of spiritual power in interpreting gendered social change, the book sheds new light on the socio-cultural role of Ghana's new churches.
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EUR €104.00USD $140.00

Biographical Note

Jane E. Soothill, Ph.D. (2006), School of Oriental and African Studies, is a Research Associate at SOAS.

Review Quotes

"This book is a very thorough presentation of the dynamics of gender, social change, and spiritual power within the charismatic churches. It is a welcome addition to the field of charismatic Christianity and gender studies in Africa. Its scholarly presentation makes it suitable for readers with graduate-level education. It is a must read for those involved in the study of gender issues, social change, African Christianity, or charismatic Christianity."
John N. Ochola, Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology, Journal of Church and State (2008)

"Going back to the late Adrian Hastings and Richard Gray, and more recently in the work of Paul Gifford and J. D. Y. Peel among others, the School of Oriental and African Studies has made important contributions to the understanding of African Christianity. In this book Jane Soothill has made an impressive addition to that tradition and claimed a significant place in the field."
Patrick Claffey, Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Dublin, African Studies Review, Vol. 51, No. 2

"The book is an important contribution to academic debates on gender and Christianity as much as to scholarship on the role of history in the understanding of charismatic Christianity in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa, and, in that way, it fills a gap in the existing scholarship."
Karen Lauterbach, Roskilde University, H-Pentecostalism (January, 2013)

"Soothill has written an engrossing text and examines carefully gender themes and the role that spiritual power plays in a politically dynamic society. [...] A brilliant discussion of gender and Charismatic Christianity in Ghana."
Elias K.Bongmba, RiceUniversity, Nova Religio, Vol. 16, No. 3

"Soothill manages to keep a good balance between theory and ethnographic material. And once again we are reminded of the complexity of Pentecostalism, and the necessity of speaking of Pentecostalisms in the plural, as suggested by Hollenweger."
Kristina Helgesson Kjellin, PentecostoStudies, Vol. 7, No. 2


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