International Conference on Pentecostalism in Contemporary Africa

Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

International Conference on Pentecostalism in Contemporary Africa
Venue: Bindura, Zimbabwe,
Dates: August 7-8, 2014
Background
The Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU), a private Christian university established by a Pentecostal multi-national church movement, ZAOGA (FIF) whose niche to humanity is ‘Developing a Total Person’ has mandated the Department of Theology and Religious Studies to spearhead an inaugural international conference whose theme is ‘Pentecostalism in Contemporary Africa’. To this end the Organising Committee of the ZEGU is pleased to announce the first Call for Abstracts for a conference that will be held in Bindura, Zimbabwe from August 7-8, 2014.

Pentecostal Christianity is currently the largest renewal movement within the mainstream Christian faith that places special emphasis on the direct personal relationship with God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. From a Pentecostal perspective, there is a ‘hot line’ between a believer and God. Like other forms of evangelical Protestantism, Pentecostalism adheres to the inerrancy of Scripture and the necessity of accepting Christ Jesus as personal Lord and Saviour. Pentecostal Christianity is distinguished by belief in the baptism with the Holy Spirit as an experience (this is separate from conversion) that enables a Christian to live a Holy Spirit-filled and empowered life. From sotereological perspectives, this empowerment includes the use of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues and divine healing that leads to one’s Deliverance (literally, Phuma Sathani !).

Because of their commitment to biblical authority, spiritual gifts, and miracles, Pentecostals tend to see their movement as reflecting the same kind of spiritual power and teachings that were found in the Apostolic Age of the early church during the New Testament times. There are several brands of Pentecostal churches in Africa and some use the tag such as Apostolic Church of…or Full Gospel Church of… or Church Assemblies of … or International Church of…and the like. Internationally, the Pentecostal churches have taken millions of people by ‘tremendous storm’, especially in the Third World that includes part of humanity living in Africa, Latin America and Oceania. The Conference was conceived and organized to probe why there is this perceived ‘tremendous storm?’

The Conference will present a podium for scholars, civil society, faith agencies and service providers to explore how the Pentecostal churches in Africa are aligned (or lack of it !) to deal with the critical issues, among them: the contemporary gendered/human rights abuse, human/child vulnerability, church-State relations and interreligious dialogue in the African context. The conference will specifically provide a rare platform for children themselves, for instance, the girl child, to dialogue and engage directly with the stakeholders on issues that affect (oppress?) them in society. This is in line with keeping with the human rights (notably, children’s rights or women’s rights) to be heard and taken seriously in contemporary society.

Conference objectives
The objectives of the conference are to:
• Disseminate and widen research on contemporary Christianity and Pentecostal theology in Africa
• Promote national and international ecumenical linkages on new and old Departments of religion and theology
• Promote cooperation on research among the young scholars and senior scholars in the field of religion and theology.

It is envisioned that the Conference will culminate in innovative and feasible approaches that lead to the emergence of the human values of ubuntu, justice, integrity, honesty and the re-invention (transformation) of society for the better and that it will ignite the processes towards ‘developing a total person’ for all humanity

Conference Sub-themes:
The conference has four sub-themes from which authors can choose topics to focus their abstracts on:
• Sub-theme 1: Pentecostal doctrines/beliefs/practices and African Traditional Religion
• Sub-theme 2: Pentecostalism, Human Rights and Dignity (including children, women, disabled persons and the elderly people)
• Sub-theme 3: Pentecostalism, State Relations and Pan Africanism (including land reform movements, conflict management and reconciliation initiatives)
• Sub-theme 4: Pentecostalism, Health and wellbeing (including HIV and AIDS epidemic).

Papers will be presented in English through oral and poster presentations. All papers will be peer reviewed and published.

Abstract Submission
Scholars, civic society and church leaders interested in the study of Pentecostal Christianity/Pentecostal theology are invited to submit Abstracts of not more than 350 words by 07 April 2014.

Abstracts must be clearly articulated in terms of the research question/problem statement; hypothesis; methodology; theoretical framework and major findings.

Author(s) should:
• indicate the sub theme and the mode of presentation.
• provide full name(s) of author(s), institutional affiliation, e-mail address, and
• 5-7 keywords.

Conference Fees
• Full registration: $100
• Student registration: $50
• The above fees cover the costs for breakfast, refreshments and lunch over the two days of the conference

Accommodation
• There are hotels and lodges available in close proximity of the Conference venue.

• The average overnight charge is US$50.00

Important Deadlines
• Abstract Submission Deadline: 07 April 2014
• Notification of Accepted Abstracts: 17 April 2014
• Full Paper Submission: 4 July 2014
• Early Bird Registration Commences: 2 June 2014
• Registration Ends: 7 August 2014.

For further inquiries, kindly contact Conference Organizers on the following:

zeguconferenceinfor@gmail.com

Abstracts can be submitted electronically to:
zeguconference@gmail.com
zeguconference2014@gmail.com
zeguconferenceinfor@gmail.com