SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Weddings among Kenyan Pentecostals: The making of a moral community in London

Leslie Fesenmyer, COMPAS, Oxford

Date: 29 January 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 29 January 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G51

Type of Event: Seminar

In this paper I examine what Kenyan Pentecostal migrants living in London refer to as ‘community weddings’, which they hold to be a normative ideal, and ask what these occasions can tell us about the ‘community’ invoked by the term.  I consider how these weddings help to position migrants from Kenya vis-à-vis their non-migrant kin, other (Kenyan) migrants living in London, and wider British society.  I argue that ‘community weddings’ mark a confluence of religious beliefs and (selective) cultural practices, which allow migrants from Kenya to tack discursively between notions of continuity and change. In addressing these topics, this paper engages with debates in the study of Pentecostalism in Africa and the African diaspora, as well as notions of ‘community’ in migration studies.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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