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Pentecostalism and Egalitarianism in Melanesia

A Reconsideration of the Pentecostal Gender Paradox

Annelin Eriksen

In this article I discuss ‘the Pentecostal gender paradox’, famously coined by Bernice Martin. I do so by comparing Melanesian and Pentecostal forms of egalitarianism. My argument centers on the contention that in order for this paradox to emerge, specific concepts of equality and gender have to be kept fixed across contexts where they may not necessarily be stable. Pentecostalism has a specific effect on the role of women in the church, such as giving them access to the spirit, while also impacting on the notion of equality and ideas about the nature of gender. I conclude that in Pentecostalism gender is seen as an individual quality and that gender relations are viewed as power relations.

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David Orr, Holly Eva Ryan and André Alias Mazawi

Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States. Seth M. Holmes, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013, ISBN: 9780520275140, 264 pp., Pb. £19.95.

Displaced: The Human Cost of Development and Resettlement. Olivia Bennett and Christopher McDowell, New York: Palgrave Macmillan (Studies in Oral History series), 2012, ISBN: 978-0-230-11786-0, 231 pp. Hb. $95 (U.S.) Pb. $28 (U.S.).

Gendered Paradoxes: Educating Jordanian Women in Nation, Faith, and Progress. Fida J. Adely, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2012, ISBN-13: 978-0-226-00690-1 (cloth), 978-0-226-00691-8 (paper), ix + 228 pp.

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Kim Knibbe, Brenda Bartelink, Jelle Wiering, Karin B. Neutel, Marian Burchardt and Joan Wallach Scott

the Netherlands, is characterized by a ‘gender paradox’ ( Maier 2012 ). In Pentecostal churches, women are allowed access to positions of leadership and authority that were—and often still are—denied them in most Christian congregations. Yet these more