Central African Pentecostalism, the Creation of Cultural Knowledge, and the Making of the Luba Katanga
- ISBN: 9780299337544
- Published By: University of Wisconsin Press
- Published: November 2023
Under the leadership of William F. P. Burton and James Salter, the Congo Evangelistic Mission (CEM) grew from a simple faith movement founded in 1915 into one of the most successful classical Pentecostal missions in Africa, today boasting more than one million members in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Drawing on artifacts, images, documents, and interviews, David Maxwell examines the roles of missionaries and their African collaborators—the Luba-speaking peoples of southeast Katanga—in producing knowledge about Africa.
Through the careful reconstruction of knowledge pathways, Maxwell brings into focus the role of Africans in shaping texts, collections, and images as well as in challenging and adapting Western-imported presuppositions and prejudices. Ultimately, Maxwell illustrates the mutually constitutive nature of discourses of identity in colonial Africa and reveals not only how the Luba shaped missionary research but also how these coproducers of knowledge constructed and critiqued custom and convened new ethnic communities.
Making a significant intervention in the study of both the history of African Christianity and the cultural transformations effected by missionary encounters across the globe, Religious Entanglements excavates the subculture of African Pentecostalism, revealing its potentiality for radical sociocultural change.