Call for Papers: Pentecostalism and Politics in Africa
Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions
This special issue of Nova Religio focuses on the political dimensions of the Pentecostal movement in Africa. Over the last few decades the Pentecostal movement, in all its varieties, has gained an increasing presence in Africa’s religious landscapes. This is connected in recent years with a growing prominence of Pentecostal political rhetoric encouraging forms of social action. Such initiatives in the public sphere reflect contours of politicized theologies and challenge a long-standing assumption among researchers who assumed a quietist or apolitical posture among Pentecostals, who were supposedly suspicious of worldly ventures and focused upon otherworldly matters. Yet far from fostering a solely inward-looking worldview, Pentecostals try to establish hegemony in public discourses by projections to “win a nation for Christ.” Diverse “spiritual mappings” decode the political terrain as a battle between God and the Devil. They assign an analytical frame for addressing the complexity of African politics by combating evil. The semantics of intervention into daily political affairs used in strategic prayer conventions illustrates a self-image as a political force. The Pentecostal inventory to transform a society often circulates in transnational Pentecostal networks, inside and outside Africa, to take the shape of localized strategies.
Nova Religio calls for case studies on Pentecostal claims of a multifaceted political profile and public performance of politics in different African contexts. Many African nations are currently facing a perplexing spectrum of political transformations ranging from state formation to the acute danger of failing states or the consolidation of a multi-party democracy. While some political cultures might recover from civil war, facing a collective memory of ethnic violence, or conflicts along religious lines, others are propagating the toleration of diversity and human rights issues in secular and multi-religious societies. What is the actual impact of Pentecostal projections in directing such political processes and in what ways do they contribute to political discourses? What are the significant programmatic and mobilizing parameters of their political theologies, and how can we describe the local approaches to politics within the political discourses of transnational Pentecostal networks? By mapping out definite effects of Pentecostal involvement in political processes, contributions may identify specific glocalized variants of Pentecostal political theologies, or discern current debates on contextual interfaces with political power within the Pentecostal movement itself.
This special issue will be guest-edited by Prof. Dr. Andreas Heuser (Faculty of Theology, Basel University).
Abstracts of about 150 words should be submitted to Heuser at the email address below by 15 November 2012 in order to elicit his feedback. Papers should be submitted to Heuser no later than 31 May 2013. Abstracts and papers should be saved as Word .doc or .docx files.
The preferred length of articles is around 8,000 words, including endnotes, with a maximum length of 10,000 words including endnotes. Submission of photographs or other graphics is encouraged when they can substantively enhance an article.
Accepted manuscripts must follow the Chicago Manual of Style for citations and should be submitted according to these style guidelines. All references should be in endnotes, numbered throughout the manuscript with the auto-numbering feature of the word processing program.
Please see the Nova Religio Style Sheet at www.novareligio.org for the proper formatting of papers to be submitted to the journal.
Each paper submitted will be subjected to peer review. If the paper is accepted for publication, the journal’s editors reserve the right to edit for length and clarity, with the agreement of the author. The editors also reserve the right to edit for usage and style.
Authors of papers accepted for publication will receive a pdf file of their article and two free copies of the issue in which the article appears.
Info and submission of abstracts and papers: Andreas.Heuser-at-unibas.ch / www.novareligio.org