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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

THEO3780 Pentecostalism as a Public Religion in Africa

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Adriaan van Klinken

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is mutually exclusive with

THEO2780Pentecostalism as a Public Religion in Africa

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Christianity is flourishing in Africa, and for a considerable part this is related to the success of Pentecostal-Charismatic movements on the continent. This module studies Pentecostalism as a public and modern religion in contemporary Africa, deploying different disciplinary perspectives, methodological questions and key issues such as gender, sexuality and politics. It examines how Pentecostal-Charismatic movements are concerned with spiritual power but also present societal power and contribute to social change in postcolonial Africa.


To study, with the help of anthropological, sociological and theological approaches, Pentecostal-Charismatic forms of Christianity in contemporary Africa as part of the broader global ‘resurgence of religion’ and as a crucial manifestation of global Christianity, and to critically examine the cultural, social and political roles of Pentecostalism as a public and highly modern religion in post-colonial African societies.

Learning outcomes
When completing this module the student
- Is familiar with the historical backgrounds and theological characteristics of Pentecostal-Charismatic forms of Christianity in Africa.
- Has an understanding of the different disciplinary and methodological approaches to the study of Pentecostalism in Africa, mainly anthropological, sociological and theological approaches.
- Can reflect critically on Pentecostalism as a public and modern religion in African societies, specifically in relation to key issues such as gender, development, politics, and interreligious relations.
- Has the ability to engage critically with scholarly work in the study of Pentecostalism in Africa.
- Can analyse and present a primary text/source relating to Pentecostalism in Africa.

Skills outcomes
Students develop analytical, methodological and critical approaches essential to the study of religion, and to the humanities and social science more generally, including the skills of critically analysing primary texts and scholarly works.


1) Introduction: Pentecostalism as a public religion in Africa
2) From African Independent to Pentecostal-Charismatic Churches: A History of Pentecostalism in Africa
3) Pentecostalism and modernity
4) Pentecostal cosmologies: healing, deliverance and spiritual warfare
5) Pentecostalism and the prosperity Gospel
6) Pentecostalism and development
7) Pentecostalism and Islam
8) Pentecostalism and gender
9) Pentecostalism and politics
10) Pentecostalism and media
11) The globalisation of African Pentecostalism

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours176.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- 40 hrs lecture and seminar preparation (4 x 10 = 40)
- 60 hrs reading and writing for assignment 1 (book review)
- 70 hrs reading and writing of assignment 2 (primary text analysis)
- 6 hrs of presentation preparation

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The two tutorials are to give students 1) detailed instructions for the book review assignment and 2) feedback on their essay plans. Furthermore, students can submit and receive feedback on their essay proposal, and they can meet with the tutor during office hours.
The weekly seminars also serve to monitor students’ progress and their understanding of, and engagement with the module material.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Literature Review1,500 word Book Review50.00
Essay2,500 word Essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 23/05/2019


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