De-centring pilgrimage studies: understanding neo-pentecostal journeys and pilgrimage in Africa

Pasura, D. (2023) De-centring pilgrimage studies: understanding neo-pentecostal journeys and pilgrimage in Africa. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 38(1), pp. 79-96. (doi: 10.1080/13537903.2023.2170575)

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This article aims to de-centre the taken-for-granted categories and empirical tendencies in the field of pilgrimage studies by discussing how the phenomenon of neo-Pentecostal journeys and pilgrimage emerges in Africa. Pentecostal Christianity’s rapid growth and development in Africa are now well-known and researched; however, some distinctive patterns of transnational religious circulation and mobilities have so far escaped academic attention. Over the last decade, West Africa has emerged as a Pentecostal spiritual centre for religious pilgrimage, a space where ‘godfathers’ mentor young, mainly male, aspiring prophets from across Africa to perform ‘extraordinary miracles’. It is also a space where politicians, diasporas, and ordinary believers flock for spiritual rebirth and release from the burden of poverty and the quest for healing and prophecy. This article highlights that the neo-Pentecostal journeys and pilgrimage are grounded in indigenous religious worldviews, Pan-African connections, and Africans’ agency, on a continent shaped by violent and exploitative structures and experiences of enslavement, colonialism, and neoliberal capitalism.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pasura, Dr Dominic
Authors: Pasura, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Contemporary Religion
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-9419
Published Online:24 February 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Author
First Published:First published in Journal of Contemporary Religion 38(1): 79-96
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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