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Spirit and PowerThe Growth and Global Impact of Pentecostalism$
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Donald E. Miller, Kimon H. Sargeant, and Richard Flory

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199920570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199920570.001.0001

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Constructing Gender within Global Pentecostalism

Constructing Gender within Global Pentecostalism

Contrasting Case Studies in Colombia and South Africa

Chapter:
(p.242) 12 Constructing Gender within Global Pentecostalism
Source:
Spirit and Power
Author(s):

Katherine Attanasi

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199920570.003.0012

A pair of questions often preoccupy studies of global Pentecostalism and gender: Does Pentecostalism have a feminine or masculine ethos? Also, is Pentecostalism good or bad for women? The latter question arises because Pentecostalism is often characterized as “a ‘regressive,’ ‘fundamentalist’ Christian movement” that seems to oppress women but may actually empower them. This chapter examines two case studies from the literature of gender and Pentecostalism, one in Colombia and one in South Africa, and compares these with the author’s work in South Africa. The chapter calls into question the tendency seen in the first two studies to essentialize Pentecostalism as either masculine or feminine in any given culture. In contrast, this chapter argues that Pentecostalism both impedes and enhances women’s capabilities, and so attempts to refocus the argument on women’s agency, flourishing, and freedom rather than asking simply whether global Pentecostalism is good or bad for women.

Keywords:   Pentecostalism (and): women, gender, men, masculine, feminine, agency

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