African migrant christianities - Delocalization or relocalization of identities? Kap. 11
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African migrant Christianity is a field that has been attracting increased academic interest in recent decades. Numerous studies within anthropology and theology have discussed the topic in general and activities connected with it in different countries in particular. In addition, the theme has been studied as a transnational field where the relationship between the soil of the ancestors and the new homeland has been brought to the fore. This chapter highlights two particular aspects of epistemological and ontological interest in order to address the question of how anthropology and theology can come into dialogue: firstly, through analysis of how technology influences human behavior, permits simultaneity, and affects Christian discursive practices in transnational and transcultural relations; secondly, by looking at how migration and the new media affect identity construction for the individual believer. The chapter will start by highlighting some of the globalizing processes that have influenced the development of various African Christianities and, in particular, the activities of the Nigerian-based Redeemed Christian Church of God (rccg) in Norway. Of special interest is how technological media and new forms of communication – in particular through the Internet and social media – generate simultaneity in religious practices and facilitate the development of congregations across long distances. The second section of the chapter deals with the relationship between migration, identity construction, and religion, focusing in particular on theories of identity construction linked to religious practices in diaspora churches. Towards the end of the chapter recent developments among African transnational churches are discussed within the framework of technology and forms of identity-making. How do technological innovations influence the individual, and how do questions of technology and migration affect theology, understood as religious discursive practices? Does the intensified use of the Internet and social media favor theories of delocalized identities, or could it be argued that it leads to a relocalization of identities through transnational Pentecostal networks?
I: Lauterbach, K., & Vähäkangas, M. (Eds.). (2020). Faith in African Lived Christianity: Bridging Anthropological and Theological Perspectives.