chapter  5
16 Pages

Prayer as a Tool in Swedish Pentecostalism

ByEmir Mahieddin

This chapter explores ethnographic data that have gathered concerning the stylistic variations observed in Swedish Pentecostal prayer at different moments of religious life. These variations point to a sharp contrast between two spaces of Christians lives which were symbolically constructed as a public space on the one hand, when it comes to Sunday services; and, on the other hand, as a private space, when it comes to the so called 'cell groups' and individual prayers. The chapter proposes an analysis of these contrasted behaviours, referring to contextual data and to individual and collective discourse, which allows understanding and/or explaining, at least partially, what appears at first sight as a sort of 'decharismatization' of Swedish Pentecostalism, starting three decades ago. It demonstrates how a socio-anthropological study of prayer permits us to draw a certain set of conclusions on the dynamics of symbolic production in the Swedish evangelical milieu. The chapter also examines contemporary mutations of prayer in Swedish Pentecostalism.