In the last 15 years, Pentecostal-charismatic churches have gained a significant role within the Ugandan public and political spheres, becoming one of the most significant religious voices in the country. One of the reasons for its success has been the movement’s ability to propose alternative models of behaviour to traditional mechanisms of social control, that were based on a gerontocratic system in which sexuality and other spheres of young people’s life were under the control of the elders. The models proposed by Pentecostals, based on the idea of self-control as a way of creating an ethical subject, have proved to be especially effective to young people in the urban context. In the face of an experience of “radical uncertainty” (Marshall 2009), Pentecostalism produces new social and political topographies, in which the “Christian citizen” is socialised to individual responsibility in order to counter the moral and social crisis. Individual conversion and salvation has thus to be seen in the broader context of a political project to save and redeem the whole nation. Based on long-term research on Pentecostalism in Kampala beginning in 2005, this chapter aims to show how these moral models have become central in defining the identities of the young born-agains in Uganda and directing the movement’s political agenda. To do this, I will focus especially on abstract ideals, rather than on real practices, recognising that individuals often have to find a compromise in their everyday lives between these asserted ideals and actual situations

Moral models, self-control and the production of the moral citizen in the Ugandan Pentecostal movement

Gusman Alessandro
2018

Abstract

In the last 15 years, Pentecostal-charismatic churches have gained a significant role within the Ugandan public and political spheres, becoming one of the most significant religious voices in the country. One of the reasons for its success has been the movement’s ability to propose alternative models of behaviour to traditional mechanisms of social control, that were based on a gerontocratic system in which sexuality and other spheres of young people’s life were under the control of the elders. The models proposed by Pentecostals, based on the idea of self-control as a way of creating an ethical subject, have proved to be especially effective to young people in the urban context. In the face of an experience of “radical uncertainty” (Marshall 2009), Pentecostalism produces new social and political topographies, in which the “Christian citizen” is socialised to individual responsibility in order to counter the moral and social crisis. Individual conversion and salvation has thus to be seen in the broader context of a political project to save and redeem the whole nation. Based on long-term research on Pentecostalism in Kampala beginning in 2005, this chapter aims to show how these moral models have become central in defining the identities of the young born-agains in Uganda and directing the movement’s political agenda. To do this, I will focus especially on abstract ideals, rather than on real practices, recognising that individuals often have to find a compromise in their everyday lives between these asserted ideals and actual situations
Christian Citizens and the Moral Regeneration of the African State
Routledge
177
192
9781138242739
Pentecostalism; Uganda; moral models; social control; religion and citizenship.
Gusman Alessandro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1660768
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