Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Pentecostalism, Globalisation, and Islam in Northern Cameroon: Megachurches in the Making?

Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Pentecostalism, Globalisation, and Islam in Northern Cameroon: Megachurches in the Making?

Article excerpt

Pentecostalism, Globalisation, and Islam in Northern Cameroon: Megachurches in the Making?

By Tomas Sundnes Dronen. Leiden: Brill, 2013. Pp.x, 260. 107 [euro]/$149.

Tomas Sundnes Dranen's Pentecostalism, Globalisation, and Islam contributes to the growing literature on Pentecostalism in Africa. In particular, it is an important addition to the already impressive Brill historical series Studies of Religion in Africa. Serious study of Pentecostalism in Africa is important because, within a century, it has become the representative face of Christianity on the continent. Dranen carried out this study within a Cameroonian context, which, unlike other locations in sub-Saharan Africa, does not have a long history of indigenous revivalist Christianity. Also, this is a predominantly Islamic context, which means that we are dealing here with factors and features that may not necessarily fit existing paradigms accounting for the rise of Pentecostalism. Nevertheless, there is a critical factor here: the Pentecostal movement in northern Cameroon, although late in coming, shares with the rest of the continent the perception that the movement offers an alternative to the dry denominationalism of historic mission Christianity.

Much of the history of African Pentecostalism on which the work is founded may be familiar and could have been enriched with information from African scholars. The book's major contribution lies in its being located in the Islamic context of Ngaoundere. As Dranen points out, Islam is considered simultaneously an opponent and a challenge in the Pentecostal society-building project, with its spiritual-warfare approach to the religious other. This factor means that, even if Pentecostal leaders avoid direct mention of Islam in their preaching, Islamic worldviews nevertheless find their way into Pentecostal discourse through the familiar processes of demonization and spiritual deliverance. …

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