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.
A Reconsideration of the Pentecostal Gender Paradox
David Orr, Holly Eva Ryan and André Alias Mazawi
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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