Pentecostalism and Development

Edited by

Dena Freeman

Publisher The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Palgrave Macmillan
Language English
Year of Publication 2012

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 secularization. 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, the 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. 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).

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