What is it about?

During fieldwork in South Sudan, I encountered an evangelical pastor who recounted a personal story of travelling ‘under the water’ to ‘the land of demons’. After providing a lengthy re-telling of this man's own story of evil and redemption, and then tying it to the analysis of other demonic narratives circulating in central Africa, I use the way that scholars analyse such stories to critique the politics of knowledge production and representation of the "other".

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Why is it important?

While the pastor’s story recalled narratives circulating across Africa since colonial times, the process of making sense of such an autobiography raises questions about the imposition of academic and cultural standpoints, in which a form of violence could be committed to the teller.

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This page is a summary of: Occult Economies, Demonic Gifts, and Ontological Alterity: An Evangelical Biography of Evil and Redemption in Rural South Sudan, Journal of Religion in Africa, August 2021, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/15700666-12340182.
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