Material Development and Spiritual Empowerment?

Pentecostalism in Northern Cameroon


  • Tomas Sundnes Drønen School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger



Cameroon, Pentecostal, mission, Development


This article seeks to shed light on the relationship between material development and spiritual empowerment among Pentecostal churches in Northern Cameroon. Field studies show that several Pentecostal churches recently have been established in the area, and that they are “negotiating space” in order to find places and areas where they can influence the local community. Due to the strong Muslim control over the economy in the region, the new churches have little focus on prosperity, but the material and developmental discourse focus on entrepreneurship through education and hard work. The article concludes that the relative success achieved by the churches is connected to their focus on global mobility, local flexibility, spiritual authority and human dignity.

Author Biography

Tomas Sundnes Drønen, School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger

Tomas Sundnes Drønen is Professor in global studies and religion at School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger, Norway. He has authored and edited many publications on globalization, development, and religious change in Africa; including Communication and Conversion in Northern Cameroon (Brill, 2009), Pentecostalism, Globalisation and Islam in Northern Cameroon (Brill, 2013), and Religion and Development (ed. Peter Lang, 2014).


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How to Cite

Drønen, T. S. (2015). Material Development and Spiritual Empowerment? Pentecostalism in Northern Cameroon. PentecoStudies, 14(2), 205–218.