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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499


MWALE, Nelly  and  CHITA, Joseph. Pentecostalising the voice in Zambian charismatic church history: men of God's expression of spiritual identities, 1990 to present. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2018, vol.44, n.3, pp.1-13. ISSN 2412-4265.

The strides to historicise Pentecostalism in Zambia have attempted to account for the growth of Pentecostal and charismatic churches without delving into the prominent features of Pentecostalism that have been popularised over time. One such characteristic is the "spiritual voice" that has been associated with the Pentecostal "Men of God" (clergy) in contemporary Zambia. Hence, this article explores the use of the voice as the power of articulation, understood as a spiritual vocal gift, as an expression of spiritual identity among the "Men of God" using the identity theory as a lens in Zambian Pentecostal church history. This is deemed significant not only for contributing to the body of knowledge but also to underscore the neglected attribute of Pentecostal influence on Zambia's religious landscape. An interpretivist case study was employed in which raw data (video of sermons and pastoral ministries) and documents were analysed and interpreted. It was established that these "Men of God" perceived "broken vocal cords" as spiritual vocal gifts. As such, the voice not only evoked the power of articulation to communicate the spiritual emotions, but was also used to appeal, attract, and satisfy congregants (religious marketing) through assuming a ministerial "identity." The article argues that the history of Pentecostalism in Zambia could not be detached from the romanticisation of the voice as a symbol of spirituality, and an imprint of identity on the "Men of God."

Keywords : Men of God; spiritual identity; church history; voice; broken vocal cords; Pentecostalism; emotions.

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