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Remembering and Suffering: Memory and Shifting Allegiances in the Angolan Tokoist Church

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In this article I offer a historical and ethnographic account of the Angolan 'Tokoist church'. I start by underlining the reasons behind its 'forgotten history' in terms of academic debates on African Christianity, and then discuss its place within the 'Congo prophet paradigm'. This historical approach opens ground for the discussion between the different doctrinal and ideological tensions (the place of Bakongo ethnicity and Angolan nationality) that motivated its particular institutional growth — tensions and conflicts that are still in play in the recent developments of the church in Angola. Finally, I will argue that the recent transformation of the church into a transnational venture turned out to be a strategy for the overcoming of those tensions.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon;, Email:


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