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African PentecostalismAn Introduction$
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Ogbu Kalu

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195340006

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340006.001.0001

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Pentecostal Political Theology and Practices

(p.207) 11 Tembisa
African Pentecostalism

Ogbu Kalu

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Pentecostal political practices. Tembisa is the name of a neighborhood in South Africa's East Rand, on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Tembisa was one of the neighborhoods surveyed by the Center for Development and Enterprise (CDE) in 2006. Over the past two years, the CDE has been part of an international research project to explore the role of Pentecostalism in developing nations. It is shown that Tembisa is a shocking assertion that Pentecostalism exudes a proactive social consciousness and political theology. Pentecostal political practice runs in four interlocking grooves: (i) rebuilding the individual, thus bestowing the power to be truly human; (ii) a predominantly covert form of social activism, attacking sociopolitical and moral structures; (iii) an increasing assertion for the rule of saints and the politics of engagement; and (iv) building the new Israel by empowering communities to participate in the foretaste of God's reign. It thus breaks the dichotomy between the various categories — individual/society, private/public — using the resources of the gospel to weave a multifaceted and holistic response to the human predicament in the African ecosystem.

Keywords:   African Pentecostalism, social consciousness, political theology, gospel, African ecosystem, Tembisa, CDE

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