Power in Powerlessness

A Study of Pentecostal Life Worlds in Urban Chile


Exploring the ritual and everyday religious practices through which Pentecostal life worlds unfold this book breaks new ground in the study of Latin American and global Pentecostalism. In addition to asking the familiar question of why many lower class Latin Americans convert to Pentecostalism, the author asks another question, so far largely neglected in the scholarly literature: how, or through what processes, do people begin and continue to relate to themselves and the social world in a particular Pentecostal way? For members of the Evangelical Pentecostal Church in Valparaíso, Chile, life is pervaded by divine and satanic presence and intervention. Through its fine grained analysis of different ritual, discursive/narrative and reflective processes the book shows how church members integrate sacred others into their everyday lives ― or how they learn to live, think and behave as Pentecostals.

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EUR €124.00USD $154.00

Biographical Note

Martin Lindhardt, Ph.D (2004) in Anthropology,University of Aarhus, Denmark, is a part time lecturer of Health Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. He has published extensively on Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity in Chile and Tanzania and he is the editor of the volume Practising the Faith. The Ritual Life of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christians. (Berghahn Books 2011)

Review Quotes

" Power in Powerlessness is an important contribution to the understanding of Chilean Pentecostalism, focused as it is on this traditional Pentecostal church that has been neglected in other scholarly studies. Yet it is also a book whose rich ritual-theoretical perspectives, sensitively deployed in an interdisciplinary manner, illuminate the phenomenon of global Pentecostalism, especially its classical manifestations. All scholars of Pentecostalism ought to read this book."
Amos Yong, Regent University School of Divinity, Religious Studies Review, Vol. 39, No. 4

"Lindhardt’s careful and deep theoretical treatment creates knowledge about the essence of the Latin American Pentecostal experience. His findings are thus especially valuable for specialists in the field. The book will have a lasting impact."
Stephen Offutt, Asbury Theological Seminary, Hispanic American Historical Review 91, no. 1

"Readers interested in congregational and empirical studies, ethnography, or in Latin American Pentecostalism in general will find this a very useful and pace setting work."
Allen Anderson, University of Birmingham, Pentecostudies 12:1

"I would recommend this to scholars and students of global Pentecostalism, both for it’s theoretical and analytical value, as well as its ethnographic accounts."
Rakel Ystebø Alegre, Regent University, Pneuma, The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Vol. 35


Scholars, students and others with an interest in Pentecostalism, Chile and Latin America and more generally in religious conversion, ritual practice and religious experiences, religion and gender as well as in Christianity and politics.

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