Associate Scholars

Thorgeir Kolshus

Thorgeir Kolshus is currently employed at the Department of social anthropology at the University of Oslo. He has been doing ethnographic research on the island of Mota in northern Vanuatu since 1996, which was both the cradle of the Anglican Church in Melanesia and the site of the first in-depth ethnography of a Melanesian society, viz. Robert Henry Codrington’s The Melanesians from 1891. Around the year 2000, the first non-Anglican church, Assemblies of God, established itself in one of the villages on the island, while a recent fission within the AOG saw the emergence of two very small groups of Seven Day Adventists and Families in Christ, an independent charismatic church. Kolshus currently writes a monograph that discusses the impact of conversions on notions of community and modes of sociality, starting with the first Anglican missionary endeavours in 1859.

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Naomi Haynes

Naomi Haynes is a social anthropologist working at the School of Social and Political Science, Universty of Edinburgh. Her research examines Pentecostal Christianity in urban Zambia – a country that has made at constitutional declaration that it is a “Christian nation.” She addresses how various aspects of Pentecostalism, especially the prosperity or “health and wealth” gospel, shape exchange relationships and social life more generally. Haynes is also interested in the way that external economic factors, whether privatization or the global financial crisis that struck during her dissertation fieldwork in 2008 and 2009, impact those same social and relational forms.

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Sitna Quiroz-Uria

Sitna has recently completed her PhD at the London School of Economics. She carried out her doctoral research in the South-East of the Republic of Benin in West Africa.  Her dissertation explores the ways in which conversion to Pentecostalism contributes to redefining some of the principles of patrilineal kinship in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious setting. Her interests include cultural ruptures and continuities, temporality, gender, sexuality, and ethics.

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Martin Lindhardt

Martin Lindhardt holds a PhD in social anthropology (University of Aarhus, Denmark, 2004) and is presently employed at the faculty of Ethnology, University of Copenhagen. His research and writing mainly focus on Pentecostal-charismatic Christianity in Chile and Tanzania. Areas of particular interest include Pentecostal-charismatic ritual practice; Pentecostal material culture; the prosperity gospel and occult economies: Pentecostalism and political culture; and continuity/discontinuity between Pentecostal/charismatic Christianity and African traditional religion. Also, his recent research has focused on intergenerational transmission of Pentecostal religion in Chile. Lindhardt has published several articles and book chapters. He is the author of the book Power in Powerlessness. A Study of Pentecostal Life Worlds in Urban Chile (Brill 2012) and the editor of the book Practicing the Faith. The Ritual Life of Pentecostal-charismatic Christians (Berghahn 2011).

At present he is editing an anthology on African Pentecostalism to be published by Brill.

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Thomas Mountjoy

Formerly a doctoral candidate in social anthropology (2009-2012) at the University of Bergen, Mountjoy completed his research on sport in Solomon Islands as part of the Pacific Alternatives project successfully defending his PhD thesis. He has worked with sports ethnography since 1995, conducting extended fieldwork in New Zealand, Norway and Solomon Islands focussing on the history of sporting practice and its contemporary relevance to social and political forms of solidarity and social change. His topics of interest include the colonial history of the Pacific, ontology, phenomenology, medical anthropology, and the philosophy of sport and bodily practice in processes of transformation. Mountjoy has always played an active role in his ethnographic research aiming at pushing the methodological boundaries of anthropology using the medium of competitive physical practice. Future research will focus on comparative insights from the constitution of sport and bodily practice to further develop central problems in anthropology within a systems-based interdisciplinary framework.

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Rodolfo Maggio

Rodolfo started to work on Pentecostalism in 2007, as he was studying the first year of his undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology. One day towards the end of the spring, he was approached by a couple of Christian missionaries who proposed him to join their Bible Study Group. That was the beginning of his first experience as participant observer, which culminated with an international gathering of Charismatic Christians in Prague. That experience became the basis for his undergraduate dissertation on the origins of the Pentecostal movement, the Second and the Third wave, and a focus on glossolalia.

Later, he continued to work on Pentecostalism as he studied his MSc in Anthropology and Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He wrote his Master dissertation on African Pentecostalism, with a focus on its impact on economic development.

In 2010 he moved to the University of Manchester, where he wrote his Research Proposal to study Pentecostalism in Solomon Islands. In November 2012, he concluded 13 months of fieldwork in Honiara. He is now in the writing-up phase of his PhD in Social Anthropology.

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Juliet Gilbert

Juliet Gilbert is a DPhil candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on young women’s livelihoods in Calabar, Nigeria. Examining the concept of destiny, her doctoral research asks how Pentecostal rhetoric and practice enable young women to reconcile and negotiate potential futures with present-day realities. She asks how religious techniques mould new subjectivities, allowing young women to overcome uncertainty in their quest to attain ‘destinies of greatness’. Her research also looks at the country’s popular beauty pageants and sewing shops as sites of individualism, examining how new Pentecostal subjectivities play out in everyday urban life.

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Unni Kiwanuka

Unni Kiwanuka is a Master’s student at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen.

She has carried out fieldwork in Kampala, Uganda. For centuries the city has been the central field of power for the Baganda Kingdom. Today however the cultural landscape of Kampala is more complex as the city takes part in modern development of national, transnational and global dimensions. Unni is currently writing her thesis on the topic of charismatic Christianity and cultural change within Kampala.  During fieldwork she participated in three independent churches all highlighting the blessings of the Holy Spirit. The focus of the thesis is on the health and wealth gospel as a way of understanding collective and personal processes of convictions.  Another important aspect is the churches aim to battle evil, often thought of as the immanent threat of witchcraft, in order to proceed towards the modern lifestyle.


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