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The Love of Jesus Never Disappoints: Reconstituting Female Personhood in Urban Madagascar 1

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Abstract Drawing from extensive fieldwork in east Madagascar, this article examines the role of Pentecostal churches in assuaging gendered suffering among middle-aged women who have become vulnerable to social exclusion. It focuses particularly on two techniques that women use to manage their relationships with husbands and children: cultivated passivity and the creation of a relationship with Jesus through prayer and small acts of exchange. It argues that conversion and the practice of Pentecostal Christianity helps women less by changing their husband’s behavior than by offering them an alternative source of authority and a new set of practices through which to build valued personhood.

Affiliations: 1: University of Chicago Department of Comparative Human Development 5730 South Woodlawn Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60637 USA jcole@uchicago.edu

10.1163/15700666-12341239
/content/journals/10.1163/15700666-12341239
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/content/journals/10.1163/15700666-12341239
2012-01-01
2016-12-09

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