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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Christian Independency and Global Membership: Pentecostal Extraversions in Malawi
Author:Englund, HarriISNI
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:Baptist Church
Religion and Witchcraft
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1581636
Abstract:Recent scholarship on Pentecostalism in Africa has debated issues of transnationalism, globalization and localization. Building on J.-F. Bayart's (1993 and 2000) notion of extraversion, this scholarship has highlighted Pentecostals' far-flung networks as resources in the growth and consolidation of particular movements and leaders. The present article examines strategies of extraversion among independent Pentecostal churches. The aim is less to assess the historical validity of claims to independency than to account for its appeal as a popular idiom. The findings from fieldwork in a township in Malawi show that half of the Pentecostal churches there regard themselves as 'independent'. Although claims to independency arise from betrayals of the Pentecostal promise of radical equality in the Holy Spirit, independency does sustain Pentecostals' desire for membership in a global community of believers. Pentecostal independency thus provides a perspective on African engagements with the apparent marginalization of the subcontinent in the contemporary world. Two contrasting cases of Pentecostal independency reveal similar aspirations and point out the need to appreciate the religious forms of extraversion. Crucial to Pentecostal extraversions are believers' attempts to subject themselves to a spiritually justified hierarchy. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]