Introduction: The Pentecostal and the Political in Africa

Introduction: The Pentecostal and the Political in Africa

Author by Adeshina Afolayan

Journal/Publisher: Pentecostalism And Politics In Africa

Volume/Edition: 1

Language: English

Pages: 3 - 23


This chapter introduces the central arguments in the book, Pentecostalism and Politics in Africa and foregrounds its unique contributions to the comparative politics literature. The chapter critically explores the complex relationship between politics and Pentecostalism in Africa; or specifically, the relationship between the Pentecostal and the political. We ask, what are the current and pertinent features of African Pentecostalism and Pentecostalism in Africa? What are the antecedents for the establishment, proliferation and legitimization of the Pentecostal movement in Africa? How does Pentecostalism intervene in specific social and political issues, such as secularism, citizenship, endemic poverty, development challenges, ascension to power; and in primordial and political identity questions, including ethnicity and race issues, gender and womanist politics, ecumenism and interfaith relationship, party politics, political participation; and other facets of politics and society in Africa? Conversely, in what ways do the state and the peculiar nature of politics in Africa modulate the Pentecostal movement? Can Pentecostalism be regarded as an alternative vision or a compromised acquiescence to the political order of things in Africa? What theoretical frameworks and paradigms can we deploy for making sense of these questions, and what new hypotheses might we propose for explaining the intersections of Pentecostalism with politics in Africa?

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