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Past Pentecostalism: Notes on Rupture, Realignment, and Everyday Life in Pentecostal and African Independent Churches


Pentecostal studies has been one of the most vibrant areas of research in Africa for over twenty years, but is it time we started to look past Pentecostalism? Using some of the most important work in this tradition as a point of departure, this article offers both a critique of and supplement to the Pentecostal literature. It focuses in particular on how we should understand the relationship between Pentecostalism and African Independency by pushing the debates on how to frame their oft-shared desire to ‘break with the past’. Every rupture is also a realignment and how each is conceptualized and understood is a matter not only of discourse but decisions and dilemmas faced in everyday life.

L’étude du pentecôtisme est l'un des domaines de recherche les plus dynamiques en Afrique depuis plus de vingt ans, mais n'est-il pas temps de commencer à regarder au-delà du pentecôtisme? À partir de travaux comptant parmi les plus importants dans ce domaine, cet article propose à la fois une critique de la littérature pentecôtiste et un complément à celle-ci. Il s'intéresse notamment à la manière dont nous devrions comprendre la relation entre pentecôtisme et indépendance africaine en encourageant le débat sur la manière de concevoir leur désir souvent partagé de « rompre avec le passé ». Chaque rupture est également un réalignement et la façon de conceptualiser et de comprendre chacune d'elles est une question non seulement de discours, mais également de décisions et de dilemmes rencontrés dans la vie quotidienne.

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C. Hoehler-Fatton (1996) Women of Fire and Spirit: history, faith, and gender in Roho religion in western Kenya. Oxford:Oxford University Press.

E. Keller (2005) The Road to Clarity: Seventh-day Adventism in Madagascar. New York NY:Palgrave.

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  • ISSN: 0001-9720
  • EISSN: 1750-0184
  • URL: /core/journals/africa
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