Accepted paper:

Possession, mediation and imagination in an Angolan prophetic movement

Authors:

Ruy Blanes (University of Gothenburg)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I propose to debate the relationships between prophetic imagination and historical acknowledgement or production of certainty, taking as example the case of an Angolan Christian movement known as the Tokoist Church.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I propose to debate the relationships between prophetic imagination and historical acknowledgement or production of certainty. Taking as example the case of an Angolan Christian movement known as the Tokoist Church, I describe the prophetic work performed within the church as an expression of religious imagination produced through acts of bodily possession and mediation (known as 'inhabitation'), and affecting notions of individuality, charisma and power. I will argue that Tokoist ideologies of history are produced through these acts of spiritual mediation and prophetic imagination, which in turn simultaneously provoke unstable notions of spiritual authority and orthodoxy. This social placement of imagination thus reveals an idea of bodily agency that removes it from the merely mental sphere.

panel IW001
Grappling with uncertainties: ethnographies of the imagination