Spirit Wives and Church Mothers: Marriage, Survival, and Healing in Central Mozambique (Women in Africa and the Diaspora) (Hardcover)

Spirit Wives and Church Mothers: Marriage, Survival, and Healing in Central Mozambique (Women in Africa and the Diaspora) By Christy Schuetze Cover Image

Spirit Wives and Church Mothers: Marriage, Survival, and Healing in Central Mozambique (Women in Africa and the Diaspora) (Hardcover)

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Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, Pentecostal churches have proliferated around the world. Expanding at astonishing rates in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, Pentecostalism has shifted Christianity’s global center of gravity from the West to the global South. In Spirit Wives andChurch Mothers, Christy Schuetze explores how the growth of Pentecostal churches in central Mozambique occurred alongside a striking increase in so-called traditional religious practices such as spirit mediumship and spiritual healing. She follows women—who comprise the majority both of participants in Pentecostal churches and of initiates to new forms of mediumship—through two emergent, rival healing networks.

Drawing on years of field research, Schuetze offers a richly drawn ethnographic analysis of these important religious transformations in the lives of female participants. Illustrating how economic and social context shapes the possibilities for—and forms of—women’s empowerment, Spirit Wives andChurch Mothers intervenes in scholarly debates about the nature of agency and challenges universalist Western feminist assumptions about the form of women’s liberation.
Christy Schuetze, associate professor of anthropology at Swarthmore College, has conducted extensive fieldwork in Mozambique for more than twenty years. She is the author of numerous articles on religious experience, witchcraft, and conservation.
Product Details ISBN: 9780299343804
ISBN-10: 0299343804
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2023
Pages: 286
Language: English
Series: Women in Africa and the Diaspora
“This ethnography is alive, giving the reader a wonderful window into life as lived in Central Mozambique. Bringing together spirit mediumship and Pentecostalism, Christy Schuetze shows how women living under patriarchy gain access to material security and social well-being by calling on both religious communities and the spirit world.”—Sónia Silva, Skidmore College