A mysticism for all: conceptions of the individual and conditions for the emergence of neo-evangelical Protestantism

Christophe Pons (CNRS)
Virginie Vaté (CNRS)
Arts Classhall H
Start time:
27 August, 2010 at 11:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Neo-evangelical Protestantism emphasises the idea of intimacy between the individual and Jesus. The workshop aims to question how the profound metamorphoses in the field of self-representation may explain the success of neo-Evangelical protestant churches in several societies.

Long abstract:

This workshop addresses the sociocultural transformations that are induced by the emergence of Charismatic and neo-Pentecostals churches. The second half of the 20th century has been a time of profound changes in the history of Christian proselytising. Whereas Christianity has been perceived as a form of imperial domination, we are now witnessing this same Christianity being used as a powerful tool for claiming local identities. This reversal of perspective has led to unexpected conversions and missionary involvement. The shift is also based on profound local transformations of the conception of the individual, the main focus of this workshop. One of the central characteristic of neo-Evangelical churches is the importance they grant to every individual, by emphasising to the extreme the idea of a powerful intimacy between oneself and Jesus, now viewed as a universal and polysemous figure of the supernatural world. This "mysticism for all", to which social actors are drawn by a "theology of personal success", serving as a path to both salvation and entry into modernity, generates and accompanies unprecedented individuation processes. The workshop aims to comprehend these profound metamorphoses in the field of self-representation as keys to understanding the success of neo-Evangelical churches.