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Transgression and Acquiescence: The Moral Conflict of Pentecostals in Their Relationship with the Ethiopian State

Issue: Vol 12 No. 2 (2013)

Journal: PentecoStudies: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Research on the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements

Subject Areas: Religious Studies

DOI: 10.1558/ptcs.v12i2.205


This paper analyses the potential in terms of alternative channels for civic identity, political action and resource control offered in contemporary authoritarian Ethiopia by the constellation of groups and denominations vernacularly labelled as Pente. The analysis aims to describe the moral conflict inherent in the call to Pentecostals to actively engage in public affairs, as well as the plurality of itineraries, imaginaries and practices promoted within the Pente movement in order to solve this moral conflict. These solutions entail elements of both transgression and acquiescence towards the current political regime. The intention is to describe the growing Pente presence in Ethiopian public spaces, stressing how it follows different and alternative strategies, while lacking a coherent political project.

Author: Emanuele Fantini

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