Testing Nightscapes: Ghanian Pentecostal politics of the nocturnal

TitleTesting Nightscapes: Ghanian Pentecostal politics of the nocturnal
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsR.A. van Dijk
Secondary TitleEtnofoor
Pagination41 - 57
Date Published2007///
PublisherAmsterdam : Stichting Etnofoor
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsAfrica, Ghana, identity, Netherlands, Pentecostalism, religious rituals

Pentecostalism in Africa has developed a special relationship with the night as a time for conducting specific religious activities. Of these, the night vigil is the best known, with its underlying notions concerning darkness, invisible powers, faith and community. Ghanaian Pentecostals view the night as a kind of landscape where certain spaces and places become important to test the strength of one's personal faith and convictions, because the time after dark produces ambiguities of the good and the bad, or the superior and the inferior, of the spiritual powers that manifest themselves. Participation in Pentecostal night-time activities signals a modernity of Pentecostal beliefs and identities which, by confronting the powers of darkness, bring about a strengthening of the faith that churches and leaders aim to establish in interaction with their following. This contribution focuses on the Ghanaian community in The Hague, The Netherlands. It ventures to sensitize anthropology to the modernity of these forms of Christianity and the way they are becoming active producers of social and spiritual environments - defined here as Pentecostal nightscaping - as testing grounds for the efficacy of their faith. [Journal abstract]


Bibliogr.: p. 56-57. - Met noten, samenvatting

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