Accepted Paper:

Reclaiming the (Swiss) nation for God: the politics of Charismatic prophetism  
Philippe Gonzalez (Lausanne University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the relationship between Charismatic prophetism among Evangelicals and its conception of 'the (Swiss) nation' as the locus for understanding God’s activity within history. We will show the nature of the communities envisioned and the role of the Holy Spirit in their reshaping.

Paper long abstract:

Using an ethnographical approach, this paper examines the relationship between Charismatic prophetism found in Evangelical circles and a discourse that envisions the concept of "the (Swiss) nation" as the basis and horizon for understanding God's activity within history. We will demonstrate the intricacy of various modes of participation, ranging from ecstatic involvement in charismatic meetings among youth to citizenship in the national community. In such settings, participants are urged to connect the religious and political realms in order to restore the nation through the (re)establishment of an ancestral purity which is seen to have its origin in Christianity. "Spiritual warfare" is the concept used by the members to describe the religious issues at stake, and is then extended to the public domain. The analysis will try to shed light on the nature of the communities envisioned, the diverse modes of participating in them and the role of the Holy Spirit as an empowering agent for reshaping those communities.

Panel W031
New perspectives on 'European' Christianity