Addicted to Christ

Remaking Men in Puerto Rican Pentecostal Drug Ministries

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Helena Hansen
  • Oakland, CA: 
    University of California Press
    , April
     2018.
     232 pages.
     $34.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780520298040.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Alejandro Stephano Escalante forthcoming.

Description

How are spiritual power and self-transformation cultivated in street ministries? In Addicted to Christ, Helena Hansen provides an in-depth analysis of Pentecostal ministries in Puerto Rico that were founded and run by self-identified “ex-addicts,” ministries that are also widespread in poor Black and Latino neighborhoods in the U.S. mainland. Richly ethnographic, the book harmoniously melds Hansen’s dual expertise in cultural anthropology and psychiatry. Through the stories of ministry converts, she examines key elements of Pentecostalism: mysticism, ascetic practice, and the idea of other-worldliness. She then reconstructs the ministries' strategies of spiritual victory over addiction: transformation techniques to build spiritual strength and authority through pain and discipline; cultivation of alternative masculinities based on male converts’ reclamation of domestic space; and radical rupture from a post-industrial “culture of disposability.” By contrasting the ministries’ logic of addiction with that of biomedicine, Hansen rethinks roads to recovery, discovering unexpected convergences with biomedicine while revealing the allure of street corner ministries.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Helena Hansen is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York University.

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