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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Make a Complete Break With the Past': Memory and Post-Colonial Modernity in Ghanaian Pentecostalist Discourse
Author:Meyer, BirgitISNI
Year:1998
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Volume:28
Issue:3
Pages:316-349
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:Baptist Church
Ewe
Religion and Witchcraft
Link:http://www.jstor.org/stable/1581573
Abstract:In Ghana while such groups in society as Roman Catholic and Protestant mission churches try to come to terms with local traditions and to reconcile old and new ideas in an attempt to develop a genuinely African synthesis, the Pentecostalists oppose this revaluation of tradition and culture. Their emphasis lies on the 'global' nature of this variant of Christianity and the need to break away from local traditions. Through an appeal to 'time' as an epistemological category, the Pentecostalists are able to create a rift between 'us' and 'them', between 'modern' and 'traditional' and between 'God' and the 'Devil'. To achieve this in Ghana, Pentecostalism engages in a dialectic of 'remembering' and 'forgetting'. However, it seems that most believers have difficulty in making a complete break. This article looks at how Pentecostalism allows them to address this ambivalent stance towards modernity. The specific Pentecostalist attitude towards the past is placed in the context of postcolonial debates about the importance of the 'African heritage' to national culture. The main focus in the article is the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Ghana, more specifically that among the Peki Ewe in the Volta Region. Bibliogr., notes, ref. (Another version of this article appears in: Memory and the postcolony: African anthropology and the critique of power, ed. by Richard Werbner, London [etc.], 1998, p. 182-208.)
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