Devaka Premawardhana

Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer Scholar

2015

Everyday Conversions: Mobility and Mutability at the Margins of Pentecostalism

Devaka PremawardhanaDevaka Premawardhana

Devaka Premawardhana, 2015 SAR Summer Scholar

Devaka Premawardhana

Devaka Premawardhana, 2015 SAR Summer Scholar

The purpose of this project is to revise a monograph on Pentecostalism’s ambivalent reception in northern Mozambique. Drawing on over one year of ethnographic research among the region’s Makhuwa-speaking people, Dr. Premawardhana interrogates two regnant assumptions in anthropological studies of Pentecostalism — that it is uniformly flourishing in the postcolonial world, and that it is exceptionally capable of provoking radical change. Methodologically, Everyday Conversions shifts attention from transnational churches to the men and women who relate indeterminately to them. It also highlights the spatial models of change these men and women bring with them to the churches. The argument of the monograph is that Pentecostalism’s failure to thrive among the Makhuwa relates to the regularity — and reversibility — of movement in Makhuwa history and ritual. As such, this work joins others in affirming the creativity of indigenous engagements with global dynamics, however pervasive those dynamics may be.

Affiliation at time of award:
Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, Colorado College


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