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Gender and Return in the Kimbanguist Church of Portugal

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This article analyzes some events related to the Kimbanguist church that have taken place in Portugal and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It unearths a connection between an increasing feminization of practices and narratives within this church and the emergence of an ideology of return to Africa linked both to eschatological beliefs and to notions of 'mission,' 'example,' and 'success.' The article shows the advantage of a multi-sited fieldwork in the study of transnational religion, as well as the changing nature of religious institutions in today's world, in which socio-political dynamics in the migrants' new settings both affect and are affected by what happens in the headquarters of their religious institution.


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