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Performing Power in Nigeria


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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Demons and Deliverance: Discourses on Pentecostal Character; 2. 'What Islamic devils?!': Power Struggles, Race, and Christian Trans-nationalism; 3. 'Touch not Mine Anointed': #MeToo, #ChurchToo, and the Power of 'See Finish'; 4. 'Everything Christianity/the Bible Represents is being Attacked on the Internet!': The Internet and Technologies of Religious Engagement; 5. 'God too laughs and we can laugh too': The Ambivalent Power of Comedy Performances in the Church; 6. 'The Spirit Names the Child': Pentecostal Futurity in the Name of Jesus; Conclusion: Power Must Change Hands: COVID 19, Power, and the Imperative of Knowledge.

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Uses extensive archival material, interviews and fieldwork to explore how Nigerian Pentecostals mark their self-distinction as a people of power.

About the Author

Abimbola A. Adelakun is Assistant Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin where her research focuses on the politics and performances of Pentecostalism. She is the author of articles in journals including the Journal of Women and Religion, Jenda: Journal of Culture and African Women Studies and co-editor of Art, Creativity, and Politics in Africa and the Diaspora (2018).


'The book treads new ground, bringing religion and performance studies into a richly creative tete-a-tete, in which performing Nigerian Pentecostalism translates lived imagination, experience, and praxis into sacred reality. Spiritual power and temporal politics are acted out via the aestheticization and dramatization of Pentecostalism, thus giving it a unique religious niche and identity.' Afe Adogame, Princeton Theological Seminary
'This book boldly expands the disciplinary frontiers of Pentecostal studies from anthropology, history and political theory into performance studies, focusing on its creative and dramaturgical expressions of power. This approach and the insightful analysis it generates will no doubt appeal to scholars of Nigerian Pentecostalism from various disciplines.' Olufunke Adeboye, University of Lagos
'Performing Power in Nigeria is an excellent study of religion and Pentecostalism in contemporary Nigeria. Drawing from her brilliant scholarship on performance and creative expressions of culture and power, Abimbola Adelakun provides a splendid analysis of the spectacular display of Pentecostal spiritual power and identity.' Annalisa Butticci, Georgetown University

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