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Session Chair: Richard L. Gordon | Thursday, August 27, 1:30-3 p.m. | Venue

Lehel Peti

Modernization and religious interferences in Eastern Romania. The role of Pentecostalism in the contact zones of Orthodoxy and Catholicity

The paper aims to describe the role of Pentecostalism in the context of social changes and religious interferences in Eastern part of Romania. The ethnographic material for the paper is the result of field work launched in a set of Pentecostal communities belonging to one network. The communities differ widely from each other in terms of their ethnic, linguistic and religious background, in spite of the fact that they function in neighbouring communities at little physical distance from each other. One of the communities operates in a village with a Roman Catholic majority (referred to as Moldavian Csángó), the other in a village mostly inhabited by Orthodox Romanians, while the third one in a large, segregated Roma community. In these settlements, Pentecostal communities maintain more or less close relationships with each other. The question arises: How are the different sociocultural features shaping the functioning of Pentecostalism in these three different communities? How can Pentecostalism establish new regional networks which can cross historically deep ethnic boundaries? These processes are taking place in a context of intensive transformation caused by modernization, and acceleration of international labour migration, establishment of transnational life worlds. Investigating the emergence of new religious communities in the contact zones of Orthodoxy and Catholicity the author is seeking to answer what kind of cultural, political and social processes shaped the emergence of the present religious field after the disintegration of socialism in Romania.

Mobolaji Oyebisi Ajibade

My Church is Sick: Filmic Construction of Intersection of Pentecostal Spirituality and Prosperity in the Era of Globalisation

Pentecostal spirituality and prosperity are topical issues that have been addressed in many academic fields, but the space they occupy in cinematography has not been given adequate scholarly attention. This paper engages the construction of Pentecostal spirituality and prosperity in one of the most popular Christian home video films among the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria, entitled, My Church is Sick. This Christian home video film was selected, transcribed and analysed within the theoretical framework of sociology of religion. It concludes that cinematography is a repertoire of Pentecostal spirituality and prosperity and the notions have become re-contextualized, reinserted and re-imagined within discourses about social and philosophical change.

Samuel Kehinde Fabunmi

Spiritualisation of Objects and Symbols among Selected Pentecostal Churches in Southwestern Nigeria

Christianity overtime had been witnessing dynamic changes depending on the environment that host her. This is referred to as contextualization in Christian theology. Since the emergence of Pentecostal movement on the Africa landscape, the utilization and the engagement with African culture has greatly helped in the decolonization, reconstruction and contextualization of this faith against the backdrop of inherited theology of the historic churches. The strength of Christianity of this global age is located in the Pentecostal movement most especially from the global south with different kinds of innovations. This piece therefore focuses on the engagement and relationship between spiritualization of objects and symbols in African Traditional Religion and it implication for Christianity through the Pentecostal Churches in Nigeria. The new trend in the Pentecostalism on the use of symbols to represent the realities of the spiritualism is a grey area in African Pentecostalism which calls for critical evaluation. The emergence of pentecostalism in Nigeria is one of the fundamental reasons that has accounted for the growth of Christianity. This has given opportunity for African to express their own feeling of Christianity, hence the contexutualiisation of Christianity within the limit of African worldview. In this regard, contemporary pentecostal churhces especially among those that domicile in Yorubaland in southern Nigeria are engaging with traditional beliefs in the practices of christianiy. Such example is the spritualisation of objects and symbols in this age. Ayegboyin and Ishola in their work emphasised the importance of African worldview in the promotion of Christianity among the Yoruba people but did not focus on how this has developed into spiritualisation of objects. Both Ogunrinade and Awolalu is worked in this aspect also did not harness how this development is shaping the understanding of people as far as Christianity is conceren. This gap left in scholarship is what this paper tend to attend to.


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