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Faith and Secularism in a Close Encounter

"Faith and Secularism in a Close Encounter: The Contextualisation of Divine Healing by Pentecostal Africans in Germany" is a new research project led by Dr Abel Ugba.
The research is funded by the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies at the University of Bayreuth in Germany.

The steady increase in the number of African immigrants in Germany since the 1980s has translated into more African Pentecostals in the country. Taking divine healing as a key component of the religiously-constituted moral and sociocultural universe of Germany’s African Pentecostals, this project aims to critically analyse the complexities and challenges of adopting and adapting this practice in the secular and regulated environment in Germany. The project will focus on two African-led churches in Nuremberg and data will be gathered through semi-structured interviews with church members, ethnographic observation of worship sessions, analysis of printed church documents and digital ethnography of the websites and social media of the churches. The research findings will illuminate the processes and nature of the transformation of African-led Pentecostalism as its adherents reflexively and innovatively modify praxis to conform to the norms of a different sociocultural and political environment. They will also provide insight into the challenges and complexities of translating and transmitting African values and moralities in a globalised world.