Spirit(s) in Motion

Pentecostalism, Pluralism, and Everyday Life


  • Devaka Premawardhana Colorado College




Pentecostalism, religious pluralism, butinage, Mozambique, Brazil


Despite its rituals of rupture and discourse of discontinuity, Pentecostalism does not always succeed in dislodging church participants from their pre-existing religious worlds. This paper connects the eclectic, everyday engagements of rank-and-file Pentecostals to a variety of concepts deployed in studies of religious pluralism (e.g. syncretism, hybridity, polyontology, bricolage, and especially the recently theorized butinage). Drawing on empirical evidence from Mozambique, while also glancing comparatively at Brazil, this paper aims to help open new questions regarding Pentecostal religious identity by arguing for the presence of pluralistic impulses within Pentecostalism itself.

Author Biography

Devaka Premawardhana, Colorado College

Devaka Premawardhana (PhD, Harvard University) is an anthropologist specializing in African religions and global Christianity. His book, Faith in Flux: Pentecostalism and Mobility in Rural Mozambique (Pennsylvania, 2018), analyses Pentecostalism’s ambivalent reception in rural Mozambique, a region of sub-Saharan Africa underrepresented in studies of contemporary Christianity, and therefore a region with rich insights to offer.


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How to Cite

Premawardhana, D. (2018). Spirit(s) in Motion: Pentecostalism, Pluralism, and Everyday Life. PentecoStudies, 17(1), 37–53. https://doi.org/10.1558/ptcs.34762