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Prophet, women, diable. Ethnography of the failure of an African entecôtist Church in France

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French

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Abstract

`titrebThe prophet, the women, the devil. An ethnography of failure in an African Pentecostal church in France`/titrebOn the basis of man/woman “seduction” (and by crossing gender theories and the anthropology of religion), this article aims to reconsider the first case study on the failure of the establishment of an African Pentecostal church in France. This religious attempt, made by a Canadian pastor-prophet from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is analyzed through the internal contradictions of the charismatic authority invoked in this church. The vocabulary of spiritual kinship structures, which was used to formalize the assembly’s internal hierarchy, is for practical purposes unstable as the matrimonial insecurity of the faithful leads to most of the “spiritual daughters” being considered as future spouses. The seduction exerted by the pastor-prophet has its part in the concrete functioning of the assembly. Two facts prove this instability: a woman, close to the prophet, is accused of witchcraft by another woman; and a traditional wedding dismembers the spiritual kinship by showing the authority of the carnal kinship. By describing the actors and the events, the article shows the benefits of an ethnography of failure.

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