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The Empowered Community: Comparing Popular And Pentecostal Understandings Of Spiritual Power

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents the major means of accessing spiritual power in both popular religion and Pentecostalism. In each case similar categories are treated i.e. powerful entities, people, places and techniques, but in a different order. The order of presentation is the apparent order of relative importance in each religious movement. This once again reveals the relative importance of techniques in popular religion and of people in Pentecostalism, highlighting the clientelistic nature of popular religion and the communal nature of Pentecostalism. The role of powerful patrons is illustrated through a ethnographic story. Finally the chapter analyzes the author's findings in terms of spiritual power and access to that power. The comparison shows that there is considerable continuity between the two worldviews considered.

Keywords: Pentecostalism; popular religion; powerful patrons; spiritual power



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