'Scholars have for some time sensed that in many parts of the world development projects and Pentecostal Christianity stand in complex relations of competition and cooperation as programs that similarly promote personal and cultural change. But until now, no single work has sharpened this widespread intuition into a coherent line of argument or a workable research program. This groundbreaking book does both. With a superb introduction that tackles the key issues head on, followed by a group of first-class case studies that cash these issues out empirically, this collection should set the terms of debate about development and religion in Africa and well beyond for a long time to come.' - Joel Robbins, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego, USA
'Full of new insights and transcending anthropologists' familiar condemnation of the aid industry, this book suggests a completely new direction for research on the type of change generally called 'development'. It boldly concludes that Pentecostal churches are often more effective agents of change than secular NGOs as they are more successful at emphasizing empowerment as personal transformation, enabling people to embrace change 'from below', and endowing such change with moral legitimacy. Using Weber's key insights, and drawing on a range of nuanced case studies, this fascinating book explores affinities between the 'Pentecostal ethic' and the forms of market-driven development which the aspirant middle class in Africa increasingly finds itself embracing.' - Deborah James, Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
DENA FREEMAN is Lecturer in Anthropology at University College London, UK. She is the author of Initiating Change in Highland Ethiopia: Causes and Consequences of Cultural Transformation (2002) and editor of Peripheral People: The Excluded Minorities of Ethiopia (2003).