Social Anthropology
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Going to 'Pentecost': How to study Pentecostalism, in Melanesia for example

Title
Going to 'Pentecost': How to study Pentecostalism, in Melanesia for example
Speaker(s)
Speaker: Annelin Eriksen # University of Bergen
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
4th Dec 2015 15:00 - 4th Dec 2015 17:00
Location
Seminar Room One, Chrystal Macmillan Building
URL
http://www.san.ed.ac.uk/events/research_seminars/2015_2016/going_to_pentecost_how_to_study_pentecostalism,_in_melanesia_for_example

In this paper I challenge the way in which we (traditionally) contextualise in anthropology. I argue that the idea of historical continuity in a geographical locality/region might prevent us from understanding not only radical change (Robbins 2007) but also more gradually emerging social patterns that connect the ethnography to very different kinds of histories and places. Taking the call for a more ontologically humble anthropology (see for instance De Castro 1992, 1998, 2004, Holbraad 2012) seriously, I aim to not only describe the Pentecostals call for a “Break with the Past”, but also take the analytical consequence of this. As an experiment, I ask whether we can go to “Pentecost”; instead of going to Melanesia.  I thus trace the practices and articulations of my interlocutors as part of a wider Pentecostal universe. I show how notions of “borders”, separations and protection are crucial in “Pentecost”, and I connect this to key Christian ideas and values.