Charisma and Women in African Pentecostalism
This chapter continues the discussion on Pentecostal missionary practice by focusing on another major question related to women: do Pentecostals adequately conceptualize and utilize the resources of women? How do women theologize the feminine roles in the African Christianity and especially in the Pentecostal movement? What is the impact of Pentecostal missionary impulse on gender ideology? Does the Spirit-driven temper dissolve patriarchy? The underlying gender ideology that determines women's access to ritual and administrative power is examined. Firstly, the chapter clarifies the distinctions about Pentecostal image of womanhood. Secondly, it draws a distinction between African and the Western contexts, where women operated more freely during the early days of the movement but were reined into submission. Thirdly, Pentecostal feminist theology is placed within the larger framework of Christian feminist theology. It is argued that the Pentecostal movement in Africa realizes that the mission of the church demands the full mobilization of all sectors, and that to ignore any would diminish the full potential to work with Christ in reconciling a lost world unto the Father.
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