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Pentecostalism as a Cultural Critique

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents the analysis of the contestatory cultural character of traditional Chilean Pentecostalism a few steps further by demonstrating how congregants from the Evangelical Pentecostal Church (EPC) are engaged in everyday subtle symbolic struggles over categorisations and definitions of social reality. It focuses on the ways in which these struggles are fought in the domains of style, everyday linguistic-semantic practice, healing, and discourses on politics. The chapter shows theological understandings of human powerlessness and total dependence upon God inform Pentecostal discourses and practices, through which congregants redefine their own position and agency in the social world. Such redefinitions represent a critique of different aspects of Chilean society such as Catholicism, popular culture, national politics, and the public health system, but also more generally of a secular modernist hegemony.

Keywords:Chile; Evangelical Pentecostal Church (EPC); human powerlessness; national politics; Pentecostalism



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