Religious practice as political activity in Luanda

Religion weaves one of the most important social networks in Luanda, creating what Filip de Boeck (2005) and AbdouMaliq Simone (2010, 2011) call the invisible infrastructure of the city. That means that within the religious universe the city slips out the ideological – conceived space (Lefebvre 1991) turning into religiously generated lived space. This process is in turn strongly connected with religiously molded articulations of citizenship (Fumanti 2010) challenging its normative and conventional understanding within the nation state.  However this religious mode is not disjunctive from state politics and imposed power relations. Especially in Angola, where churches are simultaneously collaborating and questioning or reworking the state politics. In this paper I would like to analyze spatially rooted religious practices of two different evangelical and Pentecostal churches: the Angolan Assembly of God and the Bom Deus Church that question and interfere with political and public discourses on ethnicity, class and gender in Luanda. Additionally I would like to comment on the transnational interconnectivity of Luanda based churches that is the source of new cosmopolitan imaginations including attitudes of social activism within religiously structured universe.

Natalia Zawiejska . Jagiellonian University, Cracow .

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