Political Spiritualities: The Pentecostal Revolution in Nigeria (Google eBook)

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University of Chicago Press, Aug 1, 2009 - Social Science - 360 pages
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After an explosion of conversions to Pentecostalism over the past three decades, tens of millions of Nigerians now claim that “Jesus is the answer.” But if Jesus is the answer, what is the question? What led to the movement’s dramatic rise and how can we make sense of its social and political significance? In this ambitiously interdisciplinary study, Ruth Marshall draws on years of fieldwork and grapples with a host of important thinkers—including Foucault, Agamben, Arendt, and Benjamin—to answer these questions.

To account for the movement’s success, Marshall explores how Pentecostalism presents the experience of being born again as a chance for Nigerians to realize the promises of political and religious salvation made during the colonial and postcolonial eras. Her astute analysis of this religious trend sheds light on Nigeria’s contemporary politics, postcolonial statecraft, and the everyday struggles of ordinary citizens coping with poverty, corruption, and inequality.

Pentecostalism’s rise is truly global, and Political Spiritualities persuasively argues that Nigeria is a key case in this phenomenon while calling for new ways of thinking about the place of religion in contemporary politics.

  

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Rethinking the Religious and the Political in Africa
17
2 Rupture Redemption and the History of the Present
51
3 Revival and the Postcolonial Crisis of Government
92
4 Gods Subjects
128
5 BornAgain Ethics and the Spirits of the Political Economy
166
6 The Politics of Conviction
201
Conclusion
239
Appendix
245
Notes
265
Bibliography
311
Index
339
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About the author (2009)

Ruth Marshall is assistant professor in the Department and Centre for the Study of Religion and the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto.

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