Chapter

The Salve of Divine Healing: Essential Rituals for Survival among Working-Class Pentecostals in Bogotá, Colombia

Rebecca Pierce Bomann

in Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780195393408
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894390 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393408.003.0010
The Salve of Divine Healing: Essential Rituals for Survival among Working-Class Pentecostals in Bogotá, Colombia

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This chapter assesses the powerful role of healing in the lives of marginalized, lower working-class pentecostal believers in the barrio of Nuevo Progreso, on the outskirts of Bogotá, Colombia, in the 1990s. Divine healing practices, because they are accessible to the poor and serve practical and emotional purposes, provided a strategy for coping with a social context of poverty, insecurity, and violence, and counteracting impersonal processes of globalization that both created jobs and kept wages low and working conditions substandard. Healing rituals fueled and sustained church growth by drawing nonbelievers to church services and motivating conversion, and held a paramount role throughout the lives of believers, offering the salve of physical and emotional healing experiences. The Pentecostal worldview contrasted with that of nominal Catholicism and offered an alternative to seeking supernatural help from brujería, or witchcraft. Pentecostalism was not an import from foreign missionaries but expressed an indigenous faith.

Keywords: Colombia; worldview; poverty; globalization; Catholicism; church growth; conversion; brujería; witchcraft; missionaries; indigenous

Chapter.  8698 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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