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Accepted Paper:

(E)Mission: Evangelization as Affective Contagion for Danish Pentecostals in Denmark and Tanzania  
Katrine Pahuus (Aarhus University)

Paper short abstract:

This article explores the practice of mission as an aspect of living a Christian life in proximity of non-Christians. By drawing on Sara Ahmed’s model of affective contagion, I suggest a conceptualization of mission as emission from bodies oriented through a Pentecostal ethics.

Paper long abstract:

Missionaries are contested figures implicated in the civilizing efforts of colonial powers and powerful advocates for policies endangering LGBTQIA+ communities in Uganda. In Danish Pentecostal communities many are conscious of these histories. past and present, and seek to dissociate evangelization from persuasion through dominance. Instead, mission as evangelization is articulated by many as an almost inevitable consequence of living a devout Christian life with or in proximity of non-Christians. This, in addition to but also part of other forms of missionary work such as preaching, handing out of bibles and humanitarian work. Pentecostals believe in, and provide examples of, others coming to faith as a result of recognizing this way of life as aspirational. Drawing on Sara Ahmed’s model of affective contagion as well as Jason Throop’s concept of moral moods, I analyze this idea of mission as a kind of emission. This (e)mission seeks to inspire transformation in others but does so without being directed at one individual. Instead, I argue that this idea of mission anticipates a “missionary” embodying a Pentecostal ethics oriented in relation to “other” bodies that are projected in Pentecostal imageries as “incomplete” or burdened. I discuss the relationship between this idea of mission and the moralizing practices of persuasion it seeks to extinguish. Finally, this article engages with this idea of mission, as it is practices in in Denmark and in Tanzania respectively by Danish missionaries and the social, political and historical arrangements which shape, delimit and define the evangelizing encounter in these contexts.

Panel P145a
Affect and domination in flux [ENPA]
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -