Description : Nigeria has become the area of one of the most remarkable religious movements of recent times, reflecting the shift in the global center of Christianity from the North to the South. This book tells the story of one sector of this movement from its roots in the Nigerian civil war to the turn of the new millennium. It describes a revival that occurred among the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria, and the new Pentecostal churches it generated, and documents the changes that have occurred as the movement has responded to global flows and local demands. As such, it explores the nature of revivalist and Pentecostal experience, but does so against the backdrop of local socio-political and economic developments, such as decolonization and civil war, as well broader processes, such as modernization and globalization.
Description : This book examines the contributions, both intentional and unintentional, of Nigerian Pentecostal churches and NGOs to development, studying their development practices broadly in relation to the intersecting spheres of politics, economics, health, education, human rights, and peacebuilding. In sub-Saharan Africa, Pentecostalism is fast becoming the dominant expression of Christianity, but while the growth and civic engagement of these churches has been well documented, their role in development has received less attention. The Nigerian Pentecostal landscape is one of the most vibrant in Africa. Churches are increasingly assuming more prominent roles as they seek to address the social and moral ills of contemporary society, often in fierce competition with Islam for dominance in Nigerian public space. Some scholars suggest that the combination of an enchanted worldview, an emphasis on miracles and prosperity teaching, and a preoccupation with evangelism discourages effective political engagement and militates against development. However, Nigerian Pentecostalism and Development argues that there is an emerging movement within contemporary Nigerian Pentecostalism which is becoming increasingly active in development practices. This book goes on to explore the increasingly transnational approach that churches take, often seeking to build multicultural congregations around the globe, for instance in Britain and the United States. Nigerian Pentecostalism and Development: Spirit, Power, and Transformation will be of considerable interest to scholars and students concerned with the intersection between religion and development, and to development practitioners and policy-makers working in the region.
Description : No branch of Christianity has grown more rapidly than Pentecostalism, especially in the southern hemisphere. There are over 100 million Pentecostals in Africa. In Latin America, Pentecostalism now vies with Catholicism for the soul of the continent, and some of the largest pentecostal congregations in the world are in South Korea. In To the Ends of the Earth, Allan Heaton Anderson explores the historical and theological factors behind the phenomenal growth of global Pentecostalism. Anderson argues that its spread is so dramatic because it is an "ends of the earth" movement--pentecostals believe that they are called to be witnesses for Jesus Christ to the furthest reaches of the globe. His wide-ranging account examines such topics as the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles, the role of the first missionaries in China, India, and Africa, Pentecostalism's incredible diversity due to its deep local roots, and the central role of women in the movement. He describes more recent developments such as the creation of new independent churches, megachurches, and the "health and wealth" gospel, and he explores the increasing involvement of pentecostals in public and political affairs across the globe. Why is this movement so popular? Anderson points to such features as the emphasis on the Spirit, the "born-again" experience, incessant evangelism, healing and deliverance, cultural flexibility, a place-to-feel-at-home, religious continuity, an egalitarian community, and meeting material needs--all of which contribute to Pentecostalism's remarkable appeal. Exploring more than a century of history and ranging across most of the globe, Anderson illuminates the spectacular rise of global Pentecostalism and shows how it changed the face of Christianity worldwide.
Description : The received account on African evangelical Christianity regarding social witness in a section of Western scholarship is that it is anti-development and a-political. Such an account heavily draws from an instrumentalist and functionalist assessment of such Christianity without recourse to its emic perspective. Using the case-study method, this book presents an ethnographic examination of this functionalist reading by investigating, describing and analysing evangelical Christian theological and socio-political consciousness within the context of oil and conflict in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region. Adopting approaches from practical theology, congregational studies, and anthropology of religion, the author challenges such a reading using data gathered from three congregations in the region. His discourse revolves around answers to the following four critical questions: • What are the underlying theological issues and beliefs of Nigerian evangelical Christians within the context of oil and conflict? • What is their prevalent praxis within the context of Nigeria’s political economy of oil and conflict? •How accurate is the received account that African evangelical and ‘fundamentalist’ Christianity lacks social responsibility and is a-political and anti-development? • What would a contextual political theology for Nigeria’s political economy of oil look like? The theological issues are varied and the prevalent praxis nuanced, which then serves as a veritable critique of the claim that African evangelical Christianity lacks social responsibility due to its preoccupation with soul-winning. Whereas such Christianity places much emphasis on the winning of souls as an expression of its spirituality, it is neither oblivious nor indifferent to its socio-political milieu. Rather it sees such spirituality as a form of political praxis. Some of the trajectories of the spirituality include a theology of conversion, a theology of prayer, and an ethics of crude oil, with Total Freedom as the nomenclature for the specific theological perspective offered for Nigeria’s political economy of oil. While locating this theological perspective within the taxonomy of Liberation Theology, the affinity and dissonance between the two are identified.
Description : The main objective of this book is to re-evaluate the true meaning of the term poverty in the world as a whole and in Nigeria in particular. From a sociological point of view, poverty is the natural consequence of economic inequity amongst social groups, a type of inequity often generated by the inability of the political class to provide and maintain basic amenities in the society. This book highlights so many complex reasons that are responsible for this type of inability, prominent amongst them being mismanagement of funds in most political setups. Our investigation from this book shows that theres a great difference between the various forms of poverty in western countries and in other countries of the world. Poverty may be caused by individual, social, cultural, ethical and moral issues. These various causes of poverty are often correlated. In Nigeria, poverty is mainly caused by lack of moral sensitivities amongst political leaders and by lack of initiatives for cultural, social and economic empowerment of the less privileged. Most striking is the fact that there is no basic well-established governmental structure meant to assist those who languish in poverty. This book discusses the real-life situation of those who suffer and are living in abject poverty. The book also discusses proposals that can help improve their condition. In line with this, the effective contributions the church can make in order to fight poverty will be taken into consideration. In fact, it is not enough for the church to know that the situation of long-term injustice in Nigeria is crippling the country; rather, she has also to live up to her mission vis--vis the poor and the marginalised who are living in the country.
Description : Who do you say that I am (Mark 8:29) is the question of Christology. By asking this question, Jesus invites his followers to interpret him from within their own contexts-history, experience, and social location. Therefore, all responses to Jesus's invitation are contextual. But for too long, many theologians particularly in the West have continued to see Christology as a universal endeavor that is devoid of any contextual influences. This understanding of Christology undermines Jesus's expectations from us to imagine and appropriate him from within our own contexts. In Re-imagining African Christologies, Victor I. Ezigbo presents a constructive exposition of the unique ways that many African theologians and lay Christians from various church denominations have interpreted and appropriated Jesus Christ in their own contexts. He also articulates the constructive contributions that these African Christologies can make to the development of Christological discourse in non-African Christian communities.