Materiality and Spiritual Warfare in Tanzanian Charismatic Christianity
This chapter examines how Pentecostal and charismatic beliefs and practices regarding spiritual warfare entail a specific stance toward materiality. Most of the scholarship to date has centered on the human body as the main material form in which spiritual powers are held to reside, but this chapter seeks to explore the ways the battle against diabolic powers is fought through the handling of physical objects. Drawing on long-term fieldwork in south-central Tanzania, where P/e has experienced significant growth over the last three decades, this chapter provides a range of ethnographic sketches of how people pray over money to cleanse it from evil powers. Using the lens of the “anthropology of things,” the chapter argues that coins and bills constitute a particularly significant object of mediation and a pointer to how adherents of P/e believe they can influence the spiritual world to generate wealth and prosperity in miraculous ways.
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