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“Theologies of Gender, Relationality and Power in a Nigerian Pentecostal church”

Thursday 17 November 2022, 12.00-13.00 (GMT)
Botany house 1.03

Please join us on Thursday 17th November, 11.30 am (GMT) for a research seminar with Dr Naomi Richman (Trinity College, Cambridge) who will speak about:

"Theologies of Gender, Relationality and Power in a Nigerian Pentecostal church"

The seminar is jointly hosted by the Leeds University Centre for African Studies and the Leeds Centre for Religion and Public Life.

The event will take place in hybrid form, meaning that you can attend in person (Botany house 1.03) or online via MS Teams.


Bernice Martin’s ‘Pentecostal gender paradox’, which describes the seemingly contradictory place women hold in the Pentecostal movement has served for social scientists as a powerful explanatory framework for understanding gender dynamics in the movement, over the last two decades. As productive as this line of enquiry has been, my paper seeks to move the conversation about gender in Pentecostalism in new directions by exploring how the theological beliefs and bodily practices of a prominent Nigerian Pentecostal church shape their perspectives on sexual differences. I examine the ways that theological notions not only of egalitarianism and submission, but creation, salvation, and the Trinity function to organise gender relations and power dynamics, and consider the potential that theology carries to become a creative resource for anthropologists of religion, more generally.


Dr Naomi Richman is a Junior Research Fellow (JRF) in Anthropology at Trinity College, Cambridge. She received her doctorate, master’s and undergraduate degrees from the University of Oxford. Naomi is an anthropologist of religion with interests in gender, social change, ethics and theology. Her forthcoming book, based on ethnographic fieldwork amongst Nigerian Pentecostals, investigates the role of theological and ethical thinking in producing gender dynamics, and ideas about sexuality. Her next project will explore questions of embodiment and selfhood in British secularism.