Violent Conversion

Brazilian Pentecostalism and Urban Women in Mozambique

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Linda Van de Kamp
Religion in Transforming Africa
  • Suffolk, UK: 
    Boydell & Brewer
    , October
     2016.
     248 pages.
     $90.00.
     E-Book.
    ISBN
    9781847011527.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by David Bradnick forthcoming.

Description

There has been an extraordinary growth in Pentecostalism in Africa, with Brazilian Pentecostals establishing new transnational Christian connections, initiating widespread changes not only in religious practice but in society. This book describes its rise in Maputo, capital of Mozambique, and the sometimes dramatic impact of Pentecostalism on women. Here large numbers of urban women are taking advantage of the opportunities Pentecostalism offers to overcome restrictions at home, pioneer new life spaces and change their lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Yet, conversion can also mean a violent rupturing with tradition, with family and with social networks. As the pastors encourage women to cut their ties with the past, including ancestral spirits, they come to see their kin and husbands as imbued with evil powers, and many leave their families. Conquering spheres that used to be forbidden to them, they often live alone as unmarried women, sometimes earning more than men of a similar age. They are also expected to donate huge sums to the churches, often money that they can ill afford, bringing new hardships.

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

Linda van de Kamp is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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