8th GloPent conference on ‘Pentecostalism & Development’, SOAS, London, 5-6 September 2014

 

Conference Theme
Pentecostal Christianity (including its many variants) has undoubtedly become one of the major religious forces in the so-called “developing world”. This has major implications for numerous parameters crucial to development initiatives, such as politics, social relations, inter-religious affairs, gender roles, and household economics. However, the academic analysis of these implications has been constrained by a number of factors. First, Pentecostalism’s emphasis on individual conversion and its outer-worldly ontology have tended to eclipse the multiple and even contradictory ways the movement has engaged with the practice of development. Second, the academic debate about Pentecostalism’s impact on development has been controversial, with opinions varying between attributing Pentecostals with a new “Protestant Ethic” leading to an “upward social mobility” and seeing them complicit with the development failures of the “gatekeeper state”. Finally, in development studies the role of religions has largely been seen as problematic or simply ignored, which is a lack now gradually being addressed by new publications and development programmes.

Given this current re-appraisal of the role of religions in development studies and the need for a reassessment of Pentecostalism’s influence on development initiatives, the conference addresses a highly relevant theme. Three keynotes will frame the conference debate by addressing the most pressing conceptual questions from the disciplinary vantage points of cultural anthropology, development studies, and religious studies. Issues of practice will be explored in a panel discussion featuring experts actively involved in development initiatives with Pentecostal actors. In addition, the conference will offer workshops in two parallel sessions, addressing specific themes of the conference topic and presenting ongoing research on Pentecostal and Charismatic movements.

Call for Papers
We invite contributions to the parallel session workshops at the conference.

Papers may address the conference theme and/or present current research projects on Pentecostal and Charismatic movements worldwide. The parallel sessions will be grouped according to topical focus and with a special interest in interdisciplinary exchange. Should you wish to organize a full panel, please contact the conference organizer before soliciting and submitting abstracts.

Please send your title and a 150-200 word abstract to joerg.haustein@soas.ac.uk by 30 April. Selections will be confirmed by 31 May at the latest.