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Gender and Pentecostalism in Africa

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the role of the churches as agents of social change in conjunction with the paradoxical nature of much of their gendered rhetoric. By assessing the gender implications of one of Africa's most dynamic religious developments it reveals a series of complex disjunctures within Pentecostal and charismatic ideas about gender and illustrates the diverse ways in which born-again men and women respond to and utilise these ideas. The chapter is then divided into three sections. The first considers the evolution of Pentecostal gender discourses in Africa and tracks important changes over time. The second section looks at the (de)construction of African masculinities in Pentecostal discourses on marriage and family life, and in the third section the issue of women's leadership is examined by charting the rise of a powerful female elite in the fastest growing Christian sector in Africa.

Keywords: Africa; Pentecostal gender discourses



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