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Full Access Holy Praiseco: Negotiating Sacred and Popular Music and Dance in African Pentecostalism

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Holy Praiseco: Negotiating Sacred and Popular Music and Dance in African Pentecostalism

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In post-colonial Africa, Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity has slowly emerged as an influential shaper of culture and identity through its use of music, media, and dance. This article gives an overview of the transitions that have occurred in African politics, identity awareness, and culture, especially as it relates to the indigenous village public and it’s interface with the external Western public, and how the emergent cultural public has become the most influential player in shaping the African moral universe. Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity has navigated the shift from a missionary-driven avoidance of indigenous music and dance to the incorporation of indigenous elements, leading in turn to the popularization of Pentecostal music and dance that blends indigenous forms and concepts, Christian symbolism, and popular cultural expressions. The resulting forms have not only shaped Christianity, but also the surrounding culture and its political environment.

Affiliations: 1: Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity; McCormick Theological Seminary


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