Conversion and Time in Global Pentecostalism:
a lifelong ‘live’ experience
VU University Amsterdam
11-13 June 2008
Venue: Gebouw Pinkstergemeente Amsterdam
Arent Janszoon Ernststraat 302 Amsterdam
The conference seeks to explore new directions for the study of conversion looking specifically to Pentecostalism. The need for new directions emerged out of the work of the research program Conversion Careers and Culture Politics in Global Pentecostalism at the VU University in Amsterdam.
We propose conversion to be a lifelong experience beyond the important notions of rupture and radical change while acknowledging them to be important elements in conversion stories and experiences. It is the continuous appeal to change and the recurrent negotiation of the present, past and future in conversion processes we want to stress in order to move away from time-restrained models. In that sense conversion is not only a lifelong but also a continuously ‘live’ experience, i.e. ‘in the here and now’. We believe that perceptions of time in Pentecostal practices are a powerful instrument in a world where people seem to be captured by culture and identity politics. It is through conversion that converts and converters understand culture and personal lives. In all the Pentecostalisms we study, conversion and the making of time and its various temporalities are reciprocally implicated in new and powerful ways, which, we feel, demand constructive scholarly engagement.
By emphasizing the mutually constitutive relationship between conversion and time, we will address the dynamic from multiple perspectives:
1) We will focus on the particular ways converts experience and address time and temporalities, i.e. past, present and future in their construction of a (new) Pentecostal identity.
2) We also will point to the embodiment of temporalities in the process of conversion, i.e. the body as mediating, construing and expressing conversion.
3) We further will rethink the relationship between time and space in conversion, taking in consideration how converts position themselves and move in what we could call a global and virtual Pentecostal space.
The conference program will be organized around these three perspectives. The program includes the following:
Public Event in Dutch. Communication of research findings to a large public
12 and 13 June
Keynote lectures by Matthew Engelke (London School of Economics and Political Science), Lewis Rambo (San Francisco Theological Seminary), Simon Coleman (University of Sussex)
Presentation of findings of the research programme ‘Conversion Careers and Culture Politics in Global Pentecostalism’, funded by the Dutch council for Scientific Research (NWO) and directed by Prof. Dr. A.F. Droogers. Researchers: Henri Gooren, Ikuya Noguchi, Linda van de Kamp, Miranda Klaver and Regien Smit.
Discussants and Presenters: Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, Catherine Wanner, Clara Mafra, Mel Robeck ( to be confirmed), Birgit Meyer, Oscar Salemink, Rijk van Dijk, Martijn Oosterbaan, Marleen de Witte, Zé d’Abreu, Juliette Koning, Kim Knibbe.
If you wish to attend, please send an e-mail with your name and affiliation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the need of arranging various logistic matters, we would like to encourage you to register before the date of May 31st.
The organising committee,
Linda van de Kamp
Conference registration is free
For a more elaborated description of the conference and preliminary program: