9th GloPent Conference: Pentecostalism and Its Encounters with Other Religions (Report)
About 60 delegates gathered at the University of Uppsala for the ninth GloPent conference, which was convened under the theme "Pentecostalism and Its Encounters with Other Religions"
On June 10–11, 2016, the ninth international and multidisciplinary conference of the European Research Network on Global Pentecostalism (GloPent) took place at Uppsala University. The overall theme was “Pentecostalism and Its Encounters with Other Religions”. The conference programme consisted of three plenary speakers delivered papers on this topic and 35 other papers were presented in ten parallel workshops.
The overall theme was chosen because the global spread of Pentecostalism is in a large part due to ts strong emphasis on missions and conversion. This has led to a series of encounters and, at times, also open conflicts. The intention was therefore to explore the character and effects of these encounters. The keynotes explored this topic from sociology, the study of religion, and theology, and additional disciplinary perspectives were offered by the parallel papers.
The first plenary speaker was Dr Chad Bauman, Professor of Religion at Butler University, USA, who gave a lecture on “Pentecostals and Interreligious Conflict in India: Proselytization, Marginalization, and Anti-Christian Violence”. The second speaker was Dr Kirsteen Kim, Professor of Theology and World Christianity at Leeds Trinity University, UK, who lectured on “The Korean Holy Spirit Movement and Shamanism”. The third lecturer was Dr Martin Lindhardt, Associate Professor of Cultural Sociology at the University of Southern Denmark, who spoke on “The Pentecostal Engagement with African Traditional Religion: Struggle and Convergence.” A fourth keynote by Dr Asonzeh Ukah, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Religious Studies at University of Cape Town, on the topic “God’s Country or the Devil’s Battleground? Pentecostal Perspectives on Islam and Muslims in Nigeria” unfortunately had to be cancelled at short notice due to unforeseen circumstances.
The responses to the three plenary lectures were given by Professor Michael Bergunder, University of Heidelberg, Professor Kajsa Ahlstrand, Uppsala University, and Professor Allan Anderson, University of Birmingham.
The ten workshops were divided into six tracks: "Pentecostalism and Islam" (2 panels); "Pentecostalism and African Religions" (2); "Pentecostal Theology & Ethics;" "Pentecostalism and Asian Religions;" "Pentecostal Missions and Ecumenical Relations" (2); and "Global and Transnational Perspectives" (2); All of the 35 papers presented new and ongoing work on Pentecostalism in different regions and from different disciplinary angles, thereby demonstrating the vitality of Pentecostal studies in our GloPent network.
The Conference Summary was presented by Dr Claudia Währisch-Oblau.
There were some social events organized during and after the Conference, the main being a Conference Dinner at “Kalmar Nation” (an ancient student organization at Uppsala University).
The conference hosts were delighted to organise a GloPent conference in Uppsala for their second time and were pleased with the overall attendance of sixty registered attendants The overall quality of the papers as well as the stimulating discussions at the plenary sessions and workshops were highlighted by many participants. A selection of papers papers from the conference will be published as a special issue of GloPent's peer-reviewed journal PentecoStudies.