Conflicting Futures, Entangled Pasts

Nigerian Missionaries in a Post-secular Europe?

  • Kim Esther Knibbe Groningen University
Keywords: Redeemed Christian Church of God, post-colonial Europe, post-secular Europe, missionaries

Abstract

Scholars studying Pentecostalism unite in networks such as the GloPent network (represented by this journal) on the basis of the fact that across the globe, we observe the emergence, growth and evolution of organization and networks that are similar, yet also quite strongly rooted in the local context. The emergence of missionary activities from Nigeria and other countries of what is often called the “Global South” is a new phase in the history of Pentecostalism that has now been ongoing for a while. It calls into question the relationship between local contexts and global religious phenomena in new ways: how can we understand these movements as shaped both by “local contexts” (of, in this case Nigeria), as well as part of a global network of Pentecostal movements, in the way they relate to the “local context” of a country that is a former colonial power (and current resource extractor and job provider, via Shell), namely the Netherlands? In this article I want to take a step back and attend to the question: what do we study when we study Nigerian Pentecostal missionaries in Europe? Furthermore, through attending the dimension of time I will explore how this phase in the history of Global Pentecostalism may give new insights into the new complexities of Europe.

Author Biography

Kim Esther Knibbe, Groningen University

Kim Knibbe is associate professor in the anthropology and sociology of religion at Groningen University. She is currently directing the five-year research project Sexuality, Religion and Secularism. Cultural encounters in the African Diaspora in the Netherlands (funded by the Netherlands Foundation for Research, NWO). Previously, she has carried out ethnographic research on Catholicism and spirituality in local life in the Netherlands and on Nigerian Pentecostalism in Europe and the Netherlands. Furthermore, she has published a series of theoretical and methodological reflections on studying religion that address how the experience of lived religion, as a mode of experiencing reality that is somehow identified as “different”, can be approached in ethnographic research.

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Published
2019-11-20
How to Cite
Knibbe, K. E. (2019). Conflicting Futures, Entangled Pasts. PentecoStudies, 18(2), 133-154. https://doi.org/10.1558/pent.37795
Section
Articles