• The Labor of Faith: Gender and Power in Black Apostolic Pentecostalism

    Author(s):
    Pages: 232
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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    978-0-8223-6383-5
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    978-0-8223-6903-5
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  • Prologue  ix
    Acknowledgments  xv
    Introduction  1
    1. The Instruments of Faith  17
    2. Church Building  45
    3. Church Sustaining  79
    4. Women's Work  104
    5. Harvesting Souls for Christ  125
    6. The Beauty of Holiness  152
    Conclusion  170
    Notes  173
    Bibliography  197
    Notes  207
  • "Casselberry has written an excellent study of the work of African American women in the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc. in Harlem. . . . By focusing on developing a holy, black, female personhood, the author shows how 21st-century women’s spiritual power operates in Pentecostal churches that are male led but female dominated. Recommended."

    "An excellent source for educators and students looking to deepen their understanding of black women’s religious power and expression."

    Reviews

  • "Casselberry has written an excellent study of the work of African American women in the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc. in Harlem. . . . By focusing on developing a holy, black, female personhood, the author shows how 21st-century women’s spiritual power operates in Pentecostal churches that are male led but female dominated. Recommended."

    "An excellent source for educators and students looking to deepen their understanding of black women’s religious power and expression."

  • "Anthropologist and Africana Studies scholar Judith Casselberry’s The Labor of Faith is a rich interdisciplinary and ethnographic study that integrates spiritual, material, social, and structural spheres of twenty-first-century metropolitan New York Black Apostolic women’s work. Casselberry highlights the role of Black women’s religious labor in defining and sustaining personal faith, building churches and faith communities, and navigating intraracial and intergender power relations. An engaging study that expands the field of Pentecostal studies and a must-read." — Emilie M. Townes, author of, Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil

    "Judith Casselberry's masterful The Labor of Faith is an important contribution to the study of American religion and African American religious culture in particular. Casselberry's attention to the concept of 'labor' helps reshape our well-worn attention to agency in the study of faith-filled women. The beauty of her narrative voice brings alive in striking detail the lives of the women of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ." — Marla F. Frederick, author of, Colored Television: American Religion Gone Global

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  • Description

    In The Labor of Faith Judith Casselberry examines the material and spiritual labor of the women of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc., which is based in Harlem and one of the oldest and largest historically Black Pentecostal denominations in the United States. This male-headed church only functions through the work of the church's women, who, despite making up three-quarters of its adult membership, hold no formal positions of power. Casselberry shows how the women negotiate this contradiction by using their work to produce and claim a spiritual authority that provides them with a particular form of power. She also emphasizes how their work in the church is as significant, labor intensive, and critical to their personhood, family, and community as their careers, home and family work, and community service are. Focusing on the circumstances of producing a holy black female personhood, Casselberry reveals the ways twenty-first-century women's spiritual power operates and resonates with meaning in Pentecostal, female-majority, male-led churches.

    About The Author(s)

    Judith Casselberry is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Bowdoin College. A vocalist and guitarist, Casselberry was a member of the award-winning reggae duo Casselberry-DuPreé and currently performs internationally with Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely.
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