Pentecostalism and Development

Churches, NGOs and Social Change in Africa

by

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1137017252
  • 9781137017246
  • 9781137017253
The practice and discipline of development was founded on the belief that religion was not important to development processes. As societies developed and modernised, it was assumed that they would also undergo a process of secularisation. However, the prominence of religion in many countries and its effects on people's social, political and economic activities calls this assumption into question. Pentecostal Christianity has spread rapidly throughout Africa since the 1980s and has been a major force for change. This book explains why and shows how Pentecostalism articulates with local level development processes. As well as exploring the internal model of 'development' which drives Pentecostal organisations, contributors compare Pentecostal churches and secular NGOs as different types of contemporary development agents and discern the different ways in which they bring about change. At the heart of this book, then, is an exploration of processes of individual and social transformation, and their relevance to understandings of the successes and failures of development.
  • Palgrave Macmillan; September 2012
  • ISBN 9781137017253
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Pentecostalism and Development
  • Author: Dena Freeman (ed.)
  • Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1137017252
  • 9781137017246
  • 9781137017253

In The Press

'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

About The Author

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).

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1137017252
  • 9781137017246
  • 9781137017253