The Global Context of Transnational Pentecostalism in Europe
Keywords:transnationalism, globalization, Pentecostalism
The article contrasts the burgeoning Pentecostal movement of the global South with the relative secularity of the European context, both Western and Eastern, into which Pentecostal migrants move. It examines processes of globalization and theories, notably that of Eisenstadt, that relate recent religious revitalizations to globalization. It suggests that the negative characterizations of Pentecostalism in such theories stem in part from Eurocentric evolutionary conceptions of modernity built into Western secularization theory, and in part from a failure to appreciate the centrality of certain constitutive antinomies in Pentecostalism. The argument stresses the global and hybrid character of Pentecostalism, its combination of European and indigenous spirituality, and its paradoxical ability to be both traditional and hyper-modern, local and global. It relates these to other Pentecostal antinomies, and outlines the debates about how these paradoxes operate in Pentecostalism’s relation to capitalism, politics and modern identity. The secularization processes of the West are contrasted with the continuing “enchantment” of the global South. The distinctive patterns of religion and secularity of Western and Eastern Europe are outlined and contrasted with the non-territorial nature of the transnational diaspora Pentecostal churches in Europe.
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