Hans Olsson

affiliated with the university


My research addresses how Pentecostal Christianity is reflected and negotiated in the Muslim dominated context of Zanzibar, Tanzania. Here, many Pen-tecostals face a reality marked by alienation, not merely due to that they are Christians in a predominant Muslim setting, but because they are migrants from mainland Tanzania to look for a more prosperous life.

With focus put on Zanzibar’s largest and probably most vivid Pentecostal congregation, the study approaches Pentecostalism as the on-going production and maintenance of a discursive practice. In a society increasingly marked by inter-religious and sociopolitical contestations this include an assessment of grassroots Pentecostals’ responses to violence directed towards Christian church and how Pentecostal enchanted epistemologies address the presence of evil.

Via ethnographic methods a comparative hermeneutic reading of Pentecostal life-narratives is used in order to situate a Pentecostal discourse vis-a-vis Zanzibar’s sociocultural and socio-political context. This highlights how adherence to a Pentecostal narrative works as alternative sites of belonging that empowers migrant Christians to a life in opposition and conflict to local social norms and behaviour. The interplay between Pentecostal identity, Zanzibar’s sociocultural context and migration hence opens up the floor for situated understandings on the production of Pentecostal cultures and how Pentecostal churches relate to religious diversity and Islam.

Recent research outputs

Hans Olsson, 2018 Jan 1, In : Mission Studies. 35, 2, p. 225-244 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hans Olsson, 2016 Oct 26, 256 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

Hans Olsson, 2015, In : Pneuma. 37, 1, p. 21-40

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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