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The civil war revival and its Pentecostal progeny: a religious movement among the Igbo people of eastern Nigeria

Burgess, Richard Hugh (2004)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis is a study of a Christian movement among the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria from its origins in the Civil War Revival (1967-73) to the present. It argues that the success of the revival depended upon a balance between supply and demand. Colonial legacies, Western missionary endeavours, decolonisation, and civil war not only created new religious demands, they contributed to the formation of a missionary fellowship, able to exploit the disorder of Igbo society and the failure of existing religious options to fulfil traditional aspirations. The thesis shows that during its formative period the revival’s Pentecostal progeny also benefited from this missionary impulse, and the flexibility of Pentecostal spirituality, which enabled it to adapt to meet consumer demands. It examines the way the movement has evolved since the 1970s, and argues that the decline of its missionary impulse, combined with a paradigm shift from holiness to prosperity teaching, and a propensity to schism, have imposed limitations on its potential as an agent of transformation. Finally, it shows that during the 1990s, a further shift has occurred towards a theology of socio-political engagement, and examines the implications of this for the movement’s identity and influence in a pluralistic society.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Anderson, Allan
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
Department:Department of Theology and Religion
Additional Information:

Further material based on this research is published in Burgess, Richard Nigeria's Christian revolution: the civil war revival and its pentecostal progeny (1967-2006) Paternoster, 2008, ISBN 9781870345637

Keywords:African Pentecostalism, Nigeria
Subjects:BX Christian Denominations
DT Africa
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:910
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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