Contemporary Charismatic Movement in Tanzania

Researcher: Päivi Hasu
The project started in 2002 and was completed in 2006

The research within this project examined the contemporary religious experience in the context of charismatic Christianity in Tanzania, particularly in Kilimanjaro Region. Many of the charismatic churches and ministries are characterized by prosperity gospel. This form of gospel has it that Christians should be healthy, wealthy and successful. This Christianity that maintains to address questions of poverty and prosperity is now flourishing in the declining African economies. It is examined as to what extent one might be able to understand the rapidly spreading charismatic movement as an outcome of affliction and social suffering. It seems that gendered forms of socioeconomic suffering such as poverty, poor health, and social problems are important factors. However, the charismatic movement is gaining followers not only in the poverty stricken rural areas but also among the middle class urban Tanzanians.

Päivi Hasu is a cultural anthropologist from the University of Helsinki and received her doctorate in 1999. She held a fellowship from the Academy of Finland for her PhD as well as for her post-doctoral research project. In her dissertation Hasu discussed ritual history, gender relations, AIDS and moral discourse among the Chagga people of Tanzania.

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