The Precarious Center : Religious Leadership among African Christians


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KIRSCH, Thomas G., 2014. The Precarious Center : Religious Leadership among African Christians. In: Religion and Society : Advances in Research. 5(1), pp. 47-64. ISSN 2150-9298. eISSN 2150-9301. Available under: doi: 10.3167/arrs.2014.050104

@article{Kirsch2014Preca-31140, title={The Precarious Center : Religious Leadership among African Christians}, year={2014}, doi={10.3167/arrs.2014.050104}, number={1}, volume={5}, issn={2150-9298}, journal={Religion and Society : Advances in Research}, pages={47--64}, author={Kirsch, Thomas G.} }

<rdf:RDF xmlns:dcterms="" xmlns:dc="" xmlns:rdf="" xmlns:bibo="" xmlns:dspace="" xmlns:foaf="" xmlns:void="" xmlns:xsd="" > <rdf:Description rdf:about=""> <foaf:homepage rdf:resource="http://localhost:8080/jspui"/> <bibo:uri rdf:resource=""/> <dcterms:isPartOf rdf:resource=""/> <dspace:isPartOfCollection rdf:resource=""/> <dcterms:isPartOf rdf:resource=""/> <void:sparqlEndpoint rdf:resource="http://localhost/fuseki/dspace/sparql"/> <dcterms:title>The Precarious Center : Religious Leadership among African Christians</dcterms:title> <dc:language>eng</dc:language> <dcterms:issued>2014</dcterms:issued> <dcterms:available rdf:datatype="">2015-06-11T11:59:35Z</dcterms:available> <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">This article addresses a long-standing conundrum in the anthropology of religion concerning the ambiguous status of religious leaders: they are subjects of power in that they are able to exert power over others, yet they are objects of power in that they rely on empowerment through others. Taking African-initiated Pentecostal-char­ismatic Christianity in Zambia as my example, I argue that church leaders’ strategies to stabilize their authority have unintended consequences since these strategies can con­tribute to the precariousness of their positions. By drawing fundamental distinctions between themselves and members of the laity as regards their own extraordinariness, church leaders raise high expectations about their own capacities that may turn out to be impossible to fulfill. Yet even the opposite strategy of strengthening one’s authority by embedding oneself in socio-religious networks can eventually lead to a destabiliza­tion of church leaders’ authority because it increases their dependence on factors that are beyond their control.</dcterms:abstract> <dspace:isPartOfCollection rdf:resource=""/> <dc:date rdf:datatype="">2015-06-11T11:59:35Z</dc:date> <dc:contributor>Kirsch, Thomas G.</dc:contributor> <dc:creator>Kirsch, Thomas G.</dc:creator> </rdf:Description> </rdf:RDF>

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