Young Malawian puritans : young born-again preachers in a present-day African urban environment

TitleYoung Malawian puritans : young born-again preachers in a present-day African urban environment
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsR.A. van Dijk
Pagination - VI, 276
Date Published1992///
Place PublishedUtrecht
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number90-5187-093-0
KeywordsAfrican Independent Churches, clergy, identity, Malawi, theses (form)

Motivated by an interest in shifts in the social construction of authority and the inversion of established religious and moral power, the author carried out an anthropological study in Blantyre in 1988-1989 of a group of young Malawian preachers who proclaim Christian fundamentalist doctrines. Ch. 1 introduces the theoretical and thematic background to the research and discusses research techniques, including the criteria used to select a group of key informants from the larger population of young preachers. Not only structural and organizational differences, but also differences in socioeconomic status, in combination with age, distinguish the various preachers (ch. 2). Subsequent chapters explore the content and impact of the young preachers' religious messages (ch. 3), examine the wider framework of their activities and relate prevailing power relations in contemporary Blantyre to historical developments involving other instances of youthful authority (ch. 4 and 5). The final chapter presents an analytical framework for interpreting the young preachers' activities. The author suggests that a specifically religious conception of 'room for manoeuvre' characterizes the conditions faced by the young Born-Again preachers of Malawi, and that it is this free range of action in the religious realm that has permitted the young preachers to assume their own contextually significant religious identity


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