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04/15/2021

Christian Right today: International Conference in Paris (October 2021)

christian right, christianity, religion and politics, andré gagné, paul freston, tobias kremer, karina wendling, gsrlThis is a very exciting news ! Thanks to the great work already completed by  Karina Wendling, a bright French PhD. candidate from the GSRL research team, a GSRL-CNRS International Conference will be held in Paris next october 2021, with Prof. Paul Freston, Prof André Gagné and PhD. Tobias Kremer as keynote speakers.

Research on Evangelicalism being at the heart of current events, the goal of this international conference will be to broaden the field by crossing analysis and observations in order to better identify the dynamics at work in the Christian world. Religion and politics will be the main focus, through the particular lense of the Christian Right.

The preliminary program is already available here: link

02/04/2021

European Evangelicals in Egypt (1900-1956), Brill

coverimage.jpgThis scholarly book is the published version of a PhD dissertation submitted by Dr Samir Boulos in 2013 at the University of Zurich.

It is a well-researched attempt at understanding the interactions of three European Evangelical missions (two of them British, and one German) active in Egypt in colonial, late colonial and post colonial contexts, from a cultural studies perspective. Here are these missionary institutions :the German Sudan Pioneer-Mission, the English Mission College in Cairo (dependent on the Church of England), and the (British) Egypt General Mission.

These institutions were committed to diverse forms of missionary actions. The main aspects were education through schools, and health, both through hospitals and family health advice intended for mothers. The full book's review from Philippe Bourmaud is available here (Social Sciences and Missions, link).

Link to the book

01/28/2021

Law against "separatism": French freedoms at stake

Emmanuel-Macron-prononce-discours-separatismes-Mureaux-2-octobre-2020_0.jpgThe French national motto is Freedom, Equality, Fraternity.

Will the current French government remember its first word, "Freedom"?

As it is heading toward a new law targeting "separatism", concerns rise.

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01/21/2021

Evangelicals in the word: around 665 million (2021)

Evangelical Protestants are approximately 665 million in the world at the beginning of the year 2021, according to this annual global statistical overview I am glad to share with you.

This release also gives the opportunity to highlight some of recent published research. Books have been slightly  less numerous in 2020 ("Covid19 effect" was felt on the the last semester).

The data in PDF are available here (link) and they are presented in video below via Youtube.

This one is in french but I'd love some day to do one in english. To be followed....

 

01/14/2021

French Baptist Bicentenary

france,evangelicals,baptist churches,protestantism, sebastien fathDid you know that there were Baptist churches in France before Baptist churches started in Texas ?

Baptist beginnings trace back to 1820, with several Believer's baptisms in Nomain (North of France). One year after (1821), the first French Baptist congregation started in Aix, a very small village near Nomain.

Due to the current pandemia, French Baptists could not really mark this 200th Anniversary properly. However, this French Baptist bicentenary remains a significant step towards a more diverse French religious landscape.

As I did study this particular French Baptist history for my Ph.D (defended in Sorbonne EPHE in 1998), I've decided to review (and improve) an old Powerpoint presentation which explains the four steps of French Baptist implantation, from 1800s to 1950s.

Although this presentation is in french, the many pictures and sources may be of some interest to English-speaking lovers of Protestant History.

Link to download (the PDF file is BIG)

01/07/2021

Evangelicals in Brazil and in USA : a comparative study

USA, Brazil, Bible Belt, Evangelicals, Evangelicalism, Secularization, Postcolonial studies, comparative study, sebastien fath, marcelo carmurça, emerson giumbelli, debates do NER, MercosurDebates do NER is a Brazilian biannual journal, created in 1997 on the initiative of the Center for the Study of Religion (NER), of the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS).

Debates do NER is currently one of the most important vehicles for disseminating research related to the Social Sciences of Religion in Mercosur. Thanks to my Brazilian colleagues Marcelo Camurça and Emerson Giumbelli, whom I warmly thank, I had the opportunity to publish in 2020 a comparative historical study on Evangelicalism, USA vs Brazil.

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12/17/2020

French Evangelicals celebrate 10 years of CNEF

CNEF, Evangelicals, Protestantism, FranceDo you know the CNEF ? In French, it is Conseil National des Evangéliques de France (National Council of French Evangelicals).

Created 10 years ago after merging previous French Evangelical networks, this body represents at least 60% of the One Million French Evangelicals. It just celebrated its 10th Anniversary last tuesday.

From all France, more than 500 connected and registered. The French Interior Minister, Mr Gerald Darmanin, whished a "happy birthday" to all, through a taped video message.  

 

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11/19/2020

Diffamation and reply : French pastor Samuel Peterschmitt strikes back

déf.jpg50 years ago, French Evangelicals were still shy sideliners. Today, as they reach 1 million of believers, it is not the case anymore. They have somehow become "mainline", not within French global socieyty, but at least within French protestantism.

An example among many is the open way French world champion Olivier Giroud (who already scored 44 goals for the French football national team) speaks about his Evangelical faith in many mainstream media.

This new visibility of French Evangelicals explains also why they do not hesitate to engage in public debate when they feel wrongly accused. A recent example can be found with Pastor Samuel Peterschmitt, leader of one of the 6 megachurches of continental France (the "Porte Ouverte Chrétienne" in Mulhouse, East of France).

Last february, his church became the scapegoat of Covid19 propagation. Many diffamatory comments lead this church, and his pastor, to be targeted.

Pastor Samuel Peterschmitt did not hide. After having received substantial backing from various circles (including the mainstream weekly Paris Match), Samuel Peterschmitt replied on solid ground, deconstructing the diffamatory accusations through a book which has just been released. Written with a mainstream journalist (from the weekly Marianne), the title is "La déferlante" (the flood), ed. Première Partie, 2020.

11/12/2020

French documentaries on Billy Graham

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Billy Graham, "America's pastor", is a global figure. The example of France is revealing. Although France can't claim more than 3% of protestants (including 1 million of Evangelicals), Billy Graham has strongly impacted the country. 

This is why the French National TV Network "France 2" has devoted a very detailed documentary to Billy Graham. The first part has been released last sunday and can still be viewed for free here : 

Link

10/22/2020

Genders, Sexualities, and Spiritualities in African Pentecostalism

978-3-030-42396-4.jpgIn the last three decades, African Pentecostalism has emerged as one the most visible and profound aspects of religious change on the continent, and is a social force that straddles cultural, economic, and political spheres. Its conventional and selective literal interpretations of the Bible with respect to gender and sexualities are increasingly perceived as exhibiting a strong influence on many aspects of social and public institutions and their moral orientations.

This collection published in Chammah J. Kaunda, Genders, Sexualities, and Spiritualities in African Pentecostalism, Palgrave, 2020, features articles which examine sexualities and genders in African Pentecostalism using interdisciplinary methodological and theoretical approaches grounded within traditional African thought systems, with the goal of enabling a broader understanding of Pentecostalism and sexualities in Africa.

As usual in English-speaking synthesis, French-speaking Africa is rarely mentioned, except a chapter devoted to Congo.

Link.

10/08/2020

Sunday schools movement in France: read Anne Ruolt

Stephen Orchard, John H. Y. Briggs,Thomas E Bergler, Anne Ruolt, GSRL, sunday school, Protestantism, Evangelicalism, France, bookSunday schools were first set up in the 18th century in Protestant England to provide education to working children. Since then, the movement spread worldwide. Some very insightful researches have been conducted.

For England, let's mention Stephen Orchard, John H. Y. Briggs, The Sunday School Movement : Studies in the Growth and Decline of Sunday Schools, Londres, Paternoster, 2007.

For the United-States, see (among others) Bergler, Thomas E. The Juvenilization of American Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2012.  

The French Protestant landscape has been also impacted early on by the Sunday school movement. Thanks to  (picture), who conducted several researches on Education and Protestantism, a very complete synthesis is available: Anne Ruolt, L’École du Dimanche en France au XIXe siècle, pour croître en sagesse et en grâce, collection religion – sciences humaines, Paris, l’Harmattan, 2012.

This book would largely deserve a translation. Dr Anne Ruolt, who recently defended successfully her habilitation thesis to supervise research,  is currently part of the GSRL research team (Paris, France).

04/12/2020

Is Europe christian ?

ef.jpgAs Europe wrangles over questions of national identity, nativism and immigration, Olivier Roy interrogates the place of Christianity, foundation of Western identity. Do secularism and Islam really pose threats to the continent's 'Christian values'? What will be the fate of Christianity in Europe?

Whatever we may think of Olivier Roy's sometimes hasardeous prognosis on the so-called decline of radical islam, his books are always stimulating and this good one, translated by  Cynthia Schoch, is no exception.

Link.

12/20/2015

Pictures from Field work in DR Congo and Burkina Faso

africa, france, dr congo, kinshasa, ouagadougou, burkina faso, evangelicalsToo busy! This is the main reason why this blog has not been fed as expected in this year 2015. There is another reason however: my research has been directed more and more towards the French-speaking transnational territories between France and Africa. Here are some insights from my recent field studies in Congo DR and Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou):

Field in Congo DR (Kinshasa), Flickr Album here (link), september 2015

Field in Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou), Flickr Album here (link), nov-december 2015

12/14/2015

A "must-"read": the French Virtual Museum of Protestantism

logo.pngDid you know that Luther’s ideas began to spread in France from 1520 onwards. The authorities did their best to oppose them. From 1540, under Jean Calvin’s influence, a new Church took shape, but separate from the Roman Catholic Church.

To know more, just click here (link), to reach the French-based Virtual Museum of Protestantism, an excellent website dedicated to spread scholarly information about Protestantism, France and worldwide.

Many sections are carefully crafted in English, so English-speaking readers have no excuse missing them!

Link.

11/01/2015

New Christianities explored in Afrique Contemporaine

E_AFCO_252_H310.jpgEdited by the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency), the quarterly journal Afrique Contemporaine makes available the analyses and opinions of researchers and specialists on the evolution of the African continent with a view towards sustainable development.

 

It has been an honour for me to lead a special issue, with my colleague Dr Cedric Mayrargue, about NEW CHRISTIANITIES in Africa (mostly Evangelicals).

 

This edition (n°252) has been released in July 2015, whith a rich content (related to Congo, South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia etc.).

Link.

04/22/2015

Evangelical churches in France: facts, figures & home truths (D. Buick)

paris.jpgAccording to a CNEF report published earlier this year, there are 1,600 more Evangelical churches in France than in 1970, according to the document, for a current total of over 2,000.

The CNEF survey also details progress in national coverage: 87 per cent of the country is now said to be within half an hour's drive of an evangelical congregation. Pastor David Buick's paper emphasizes the fact that there's a growing open-mindedness, too: many evangelical churches that aren't CNEF affiliates are included in the statistics.

To know more, read the rest of David Buick's paper here, written through pastor's lenses (link).

01/01/2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR !

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05/22/2014

Regardsprotestants: Gateway into the French-speaking protestant world

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Better late than never: let's emphasize the great value of Regardsprotestants, a French-speaking website dedicated to news from a Protestant perspective. The Pastor Eugène Bersier Foundation, with the help of WordAppeal, has launched it at the beginning of 2013.

A unique and remarkable gateway into the French-speaking Protestant world, www.regardsprotestants.com unites content from about 60 French Protestant media (blogs, TV, press, radio, etc.). From society to faith, culture and international affairs, the website covers all topics that are making headlines around the world. This new website - completely free - is gaining a growing attendance. It is aimed at people of the Protestant faith, and more broadly, to anyone interested in religion. 

To know more, click here

02/12/2014

"French evangelical networks before 1555: proto-churches?"

reformation,protestantism,france,jonathan reid,huguenots"Over eight hundred Reformed churches sprang into existence in France between 1555 and 1562. Their advent occurred after a thirty-five year period of buildup, during which evangelical doctrines gained adherents throughout the kingdom and local networks formed out of which those churches would coalesce. (..) why and how these conventicles grew and then suddenly metamorphosed into well-organized churches remains largely a mystery"

Thanks to Jonathan Reid, this mystery is solved now. In a Open edition full text version now available, let's read his contribution "French evangelical networks before 1555: proto-churches?", in Philip Benedict, Silvana Seidel Menchi & Alain Tallon (ed.), LA RÉFORME EN FRANCE ET EN ITALIE, Ecole Française de Rome, 2007 (p.105-124).

 

 

11/26/2013

Juba (South Sudan): studying its changing Christian landscape

south sudan,juba,christianity,evangelicals,nation building,africaIndependent since 2011, South Sudan is a rapidly changing country, with huge challenges ahead. As a scholar working on religion from a social science perspective, I am currently studying the changing landscape of Christianity in Juba, the capital.

After a belated landing in Juba on the 23d of November, I will leave on the 2d of December, 2013. Meanwhile, as I do my best to document my study, several pictures are posted on a Flickr Album you can enjoy here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pilgrimseb/sets/721576379507...

09/10/2013

A much needed book to understand Health and Wealth Gospel

41KBXB17RpL._SY346_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_.jpgThe CEIA, located in Lognes, near Paris, is the biggest Evangelical meeting in France. Last year, the main theme was Health and Wealth Gospel. Not surprising!

This growing movement, mostly popular within some Charismatic circles, is taking roots in France. The two biggest Evangelical congregations in Paris, which are Charisma Eglise Chrétienne and Paris Centre Chrétien, could be described as linked to Prosperity Gospel.

This is why Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel (Oxford University Press, 2013), authored by Kate Bowler, is not only needed in America. It is also a great tool for a better understanding of a world-wide movement much more diverse than what most people think. Good review to be read here (link).

05/16/2013

British and Commonwealth Methodism in London (Matthew Wood)

M.Wood.jpgOn Monday afternoon, the 13th of May, 2013, the GSRL research team (Paris, France) had the opportunity to listen to a fascinating in-depth analysis of "the price of enthusiasm: British and Commonwealth Methodism in the "Global City".

The main point of Matthew Wood's topic was to study interactions at a local Methodist level in London, in order to understand better the cultural challenges of remixing Methodist identity today through the impact of migrations.

(click here to continue)

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11/01/2012

Back from South Sudan and Hope for a New nation Festival

picture taken by Sebastien Fath.jpgI just come back from an amazing week in JUBA (South Sudan), where I went to survey, as a French scholar, a huge Christian event organized by Rev Franklin Graham

At the HOPE FOR A NEW NATION Festival I've been to, there were apparently up to 94,000 attenders in 2 days. Amazing!

For those who speak French, there are more details in my French-speaking blog, and also in this other one devoted to promote friendship between France and South Sudan. See also my Flickr album here.

07/30/2012

French Evangelicals through an American lens (GetReligion)

images.jpegIn our last post, we just highlighted the paper published by the Christian Science Monitor on French Evangelicals. A few days after, the GetReligion website (worth a visit!) released a critical review of this paper, written by George Conger.

Although it may be a little bit severe, it is inspiring (read also the comments).

Link here

07/20/2012

French Evangelicals screened by the Christian Science Monitor

French evangelicals, France, evangelicals, christian science monitor, sebastien fath, sébastien fath"For years, intellectuals proclaimed the end of Christianity in France, swallowed by the tides of modernity, science, and reason."

Not so sure! To know more, read this month the Christian Science Monitor, one of the most US respected magazine on christian news.

Robert Marquand, CS's Staff writer, authored a must-read study on French Evangelicals in the July 2012 issue. With facts, analysis, and comparative view (France/America). Link here

07/02/2012

Evangelicals accuse French officials of discrimination (Global Post)

section-icon-france.pngImmigrant Evangelical churches are a fast-growing movment in France. Mostly related to the Francophone world (According to the La nouvelle France protestante 2011 book, there is around 40 millions of  French-speaking protestants in the World), they are often poor, and have a hard time finding proper worship places.

To know more about these issues, Clea Caulcutt just released a very well-crafted report, published in the Global Post (July 1, 2012). Link

06/26/2012

French Evangelicals on the move: the CNEF holistic evangelism

images.jpeg Connexion (June 2012) is the CNEF magazine (written in French). Its third issue is the opportunity to get a confirmation that social work, social Gospel and solidarity are back on the map for French Evangelicals, after a few post World War II decades during which these themes became old-fashioned.

Under the umbrella of the CNEF organization, evangelism appears to be defined in a holistic way, starting from the individual to reach social level.  One of the reasons of this emphasis may rely on the CNEF distinctives.

(click to continue)

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06/09/2012

A new leading figure of the European research field on African churches

padova,university of padova,annalisa butticci,france,italy,enzo pace,pentecostals,nigeria,nigerian churchesRemember Annalisa Butticci’s name : as the Padova International Conference on Pentecostalism reaches its end today, she’s the one to be praised (along with her mentor Enzo Pace) for boosting studies on Pentecostal and immigrant churches in Latin Europe.

 After having completed her Ph.D in Sociology and Methodology for Social Science Research from the Catholic University of Milan (Italy), she conducted an ambitious field work, both in Nigerian immigrant churches and in Nigeria (she spent 8 months in Lagos), and she just achieved an amazing task in organizing such a large and successful conference in Padova. (Click to continue)

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06/08/2012

Kingdom Theology : a shift within Health and Wealth Gospel?

nigeria,padova,pentecostalism,pentecostals,health and welath gospel,sunday adelaja,danny maccain,university of jos,josAs a keynote speaker at the 2012 Padova international conference on Pentecostalism (Italy), I was glad to present my paper today (Friday 8th of June, 2012).

I was not the only one : several fascinating studies have been presented, including one describing a theological schift occuring within the Health and Wealth Gospel trend in Nigerian Pentecostalism.

 Click to continue

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06/07/2012

Religion studied by social sciences: the visual turn

P1240707_2.jpgAs I attended the first day of "Pentecostals, politics of space and power", the Padova international Conference organized by Professor Enzo Pace and Annalisa Butticci, let's highlight one inspiring concept emphasized by Annalisa Butticci : contemporary teaching and science are facing a "visual turn".

Less texts, more images. Social sciences have to adapt!

It makes all the more relevant "Na God", the picture exhibit realized by gifted photographer Andrew Esiebo (pictured left).

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