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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.

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.

10/15/2020

Religion and Neonationalism in Europe (2020)

10.5771_9783748905059_big.pngHow do religions contribute to contemporary nation-building processes ?

Thanks to Florian Höhne, Torsten Meireis (Ed.), this impressive 2020 book sheds new light on the complex relationships between religion and (neo)nationalism.

The contributions to this volume analyse the complex relations between religious traditions, groups and ideas on the one hand, and (neo-)nationalism on the other. They do so on a conceptual level as well as with regard to concrete contexts and countries. They shed light on these relations from historical, sociological, theological and ethical perspectives, and contribute to the discourse on neo-nationalism, populism and public theology. While the first part of the book situates religion and (neo-)nationalism in a globalised world, the second puts the concepts of neo-nationalism, populism, religion in context. The third part presents different case studies (particularly from European countries), and the final part concludes with ethical and political perspectives.

Please notice that this book includes a significant contribution from Philippe Portier (EPHE, former GSRL director),

Philippe Portier, "Neo-Nationalism and Religion in France" (p.255 - 272).

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).

09/30/2020

Current debates within the "Black Church", USA: a needed book

719tyG6voyL.jpgIn USA, what we use to define as "Black theology" has emphasized the role of Christian faith in addressing racism and other forms of oppression, arguing that Jesus urged his disciples to seek the freedom of all peoples.

Meanwhile, the  so-called "Black church", even when focused on social concerns, has often emphasized personal piety rather than social protest. With the rising influence of white Evangelicalism, biblical fundamentalism, and the prosperity gospel, the divide has become even more pronounced.

In The Divided Mind of the Black Church (2020), Raphael G. Warnock, Senior Pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the spiritual home of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., helps us to understand the current debates within Black Protestants (mostly Evangelicals) in USA.

Link.

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.

10/30/2019

A major book on French religious minorities

9782227494855.jpgThis unprecedented work (1152p) has just been published in French (Bayard, 2019).

It brings together nearly 80 sociologists, ethnologists, anthropologists and historians.

It aims to provide a better understanding of the religious groups present in France and their recent development.
In a new approach, it offers a series of chapters each presenting in detail a religious group.

These religious "minorities" (including Catholicism) are grouped together by large denominational groups, which makes it possible to grasp the internal diversity of each of these.

Directed by Anne-Laure Zwilling, this remarkable synthesis should definitely be translated in English!

Link (in French)

08/28/2014

A major comparative book on immigrant faith (Phillip Connor)

Canada, USA, Europe, immigration, migrants, immigrant faith, new york university press, book, religionIt is more than likely that the majority of religious attenders in the Paris area today do come from an immigrant background. Immigrant faith? It's not a footnote. It is a major aspect of contemporary religion!

Thanks to Phillip Connor, Immigrant Faith (NYU Press, 2014) is providing new comparative insights on this major topic.

It examines trends and patterns relating to religion in the lives of immigrants. The volume moves beyond specific studies of particular faiths in particular immigrant destinations to present the religious lives of immigrants in the United States, Canada, and Europe on a broad scale.

Religion is not merely one aspect among many in immigrant lives. Immigrant faith affects daily interactions, shapes the future of immigrants in their destination society, and influences society beyond the immigrants themselves. In other words, to understand immigrants, one must understand their faith.

Read more here (link).

03/12/2014

A new book on French Huguenots in Paris

517IavuA5ZL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg"How did the Huguenots of Paris survive, and even prosper, in the eighteenth century when the majority Catholic population was notorious for its hostility to Protestantism? Why, by the end of the Old Regime, did public opinion overwhelmingly favour giving Huguenots greater rights? This study of the growth of religious toleration in Paris traces the specific history of the Huguenots after Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685."

Let's thank Professor David Garrioch for this new synthesis:

 The Huguenots of Paris and the Coming of Religious Freedom, 1685-1789 (Cambridge, 2014). 

12/30/2013

Religion and Culture (Michel Foucault), a new 2013 edition

france,religion,culture,michel foucault,book,routledge,jeremy r. carrette,university of stirlingMichel Foucault (1926-1984) was one of the most important French intellectual figures of the twentieth century. He is known for many significant writings, including The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969) and the first volume of The History of Sexuality (1976). More than enough to take a look with great interest at this new edition of Religion and Culture (Routledge, 2013).

The editor of this collection of texts and essays is Jeremy R. Carrette, formerly Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Stirling (a great city where I was fortunate to live for one year).