Jesus for Zanzibar: Narratives of Pentecostal (Non-)Belonging, Islam, and Nation


Author: Hans Olsson
In Jesus for Zanzibar: Narratives of Pentecostal (Non-)Belonging, Islam, and Nation Hans Olsson offers an ethnographic account of the lived experience and socio-political significance of newly arriving Pentecostal Christians in the Muslim majority setting of Zanzibar. This work analyzes how a disputed political partnership between Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania intersects with the construction of religious identities.

Undertaken at a time of political tensions, the case study of Zanzibar’s largest Pentecostal church, the City Christian Center, outlines religious belonging as relationally filtered in-between experiences of social insecurity, altered minority / majority positions, and spiritual powers. Hans Olsson shows that Pentecostal Christianity, as a signifier of (un)wanted social change, exemplifies contested processes of becoming in Zanzibar that capitalizes on, and creates meaning out of, religious difference and ambient political tensions.

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Hans Olsson, Ph.D. (2017), Lund University, is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen. His work in Tanzania and Zanzibar has produced several publications, including The Politics of Interfaith Institutions in Contemporary Tanzania (Swedish Science Press, 2011).
List of Figures
Swahili Glossary

1 Introduction
 1 Pentecostal Christianity in Africa
 2 A Relational Approach
 3 Fieldwork

2 The Scene
 1 The Swahili Coast, Zanzibar, and Struggles for Belonging
 2 Uamsho: Islamic Awakening
 3 Christianity in Zanzibar

3 The Migrant
 1 The Precarious Search for a Better Life
 2 Becoming Saved
 3 Salvation and the Good Life

4 The Church
 1 The Pastor
 2 Spiritual Kin
 3 A Vital Participation?

5 The Public
 1 The CCC Goes Public
 2 Violence
 3 The Quest to Make Public

6 The Union
 1 Pentecostal Approaches to the Union
 2 Christianity, Islam, and the Secular Union
 3 The Union and Religious Difference

7 Narratives of Pentecostal (Non-)Belonging
 1 Pentecostal Christianity as a Second Culture
 2 Temporalities, Shifting Statuses, and the Impact of Mission
 3 “Jesus for Zanzibar”
 Interview List: Members of the City Christian Center
 Other Interviews
 Cited Material
All interested in Pentecostal Christianity, Islam and national belonging in Africa, and anyone concerned with how religious identities are negotiated in contexts of religious pluralism and political contestations.