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Following the Gospel: The Assemblies of God Missionary Effort in New Delhi, India

Jensen, Clark; (2020) Following the Gospel: The Assemblies of God Missionary Effort in New Delhi, India. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The growth of the global Pentecostal movements that rely upon successful proselytism evidenced by the conversion and rupture in previously non-Pentecostal populations is explored in this multi-sited ethnography of the Assemblies of God (AG). I theorize the missionary effort and the affiliated churches in New Delhi, North India through the lens of global market capitalism. The research was conducted in multiple sites including churches, bible colleges, missionary training meetings, and evangelistic outreaches. The subjects include first generation converts to AG Pentecostalism, Indian AG clergy and laity, USA missionaries, and denominational leaders. I imagine Indian lay leaders as labourers who relationally cultivate converts. They welcome mostly chronically poor Dalits into their churches, initially offering promises of the Holy Spirit’s intervention to solve problems, and then much later compel these participants to an authentic conversion marked by rupture from previous subjectivities (beliefs and values) and social belonging (relationships and identity). These same converts are represented in stories that are traded back to USA donors, thus completing the network of trade. This study explores the AG missionary effort to North India as global trade, the conversion process as a negotiated exchange, the Holy Spirit as compelling affect, Indian clergy as icons of the aspirations of Dalit converts, and the AG community as the locale of realization for a Made Pure identity in the socio-economic uplift of converts. This study contributes to the Anthropology of Christianity by enquiring into the success of the global Pentecostal movement, the motivations of converts, the motivations and process of conversion careers, and the ethics of conversion as a negotiated exchange of sacrifices.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Following the Gospel: The Assemblies of God Missionary Effort in New Delhi, India
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097679
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