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A New Christianity for a New South Africa: Charismatic Christians and the Post-Apartheid Order

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image of Journal of Religion in Africa

The international growth of Pentecostalism has seen a rush of congregations in Africa, many of which have tapped into a range of both local and global trends ranging from neo-liberal capitalism to tele-evangelism to youth music. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this discussion focuses on the main Johannesburg congregation of a grouping of churches that have successfully engaged with aspects of socio-economic transformation in post-apartheid South Africa. Such engagement has involved conspicuous alignment with aspects of contemporary South African society, including an acceptance of broader policy projects of the nation state. I argue that the use of a variety of symbolic and thematic elements of a secular nature in the Sunday services of this church reminds and inspires congregants to consider wider social perspectives without challenging the sacred realm of faith.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, WITS 2050 South Africa;, Email:


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