Dissertation Abstracts

“Ethno-Religiosity, Stigma and Mass Conversions to Evangelical Pentecostalism Among Spanish Gypsies"

Author: Montañés Jimenez, Antonio , amjsociologia@gmail.com
Department: Sociology V
University: Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
Supervisor: Alfonso Pere-Agote Poveda
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: Spanish/English

Keywords: Gitanos/Spanis Gypsies , Evangelical Pentecostalism , Ethnic identities , Stigma
Areas of Research: Religion , Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations


The aim of the paper is to understand the intimate relationship between the Pentecostal religion with the articulation, re-composition and renovation of the identities found in ethnic communities. This theme is explored through the case of Pentecostalism among ethnic Gypsy communities in Europe, and in particular, Spain. Gypsy Pentecostalism has designated itself with the special mission of evangelising the Gypsy people throughout the world. In addition to offering a biblical interpretation of the origins of the Gypsy people, that places them in one of the 12 lost tribes of Israel, Gypsy Pentacostalism provides a historical interpretation of the unfortunate journey they faced in this world which culminated with the ethnic genocide during the Second World War. Gypsy Pentecostalism promotes the conservation of some of the most deep rooted elements of their ethnic tradition and confronts the production of ethnic identities and collective destigmatised representations.
The proposed paper deals with the expansion of the Pentecostal religion on three levels;
1. At the supranational level: The role of Pentecostal religion in the emergence and promotion of an ethnic sense of global diaspora, which remains articulated in organisational and institutional networks and movements.
2. At the national level: The role of Pentecostalism in the renovation of the Spanish Gypsy’s ethnic and cultural identities.
3. At the local level: The role of the Pentecostal religion in the articulation and re-composition of the different identities among Spanish Gypsies and non-Spanish Gypsies (above all Romanians) after the intensification of the arrival of transnational migratory waves of European Romanians to Spain in the 21st century.

This paper forms part of the doctoral thesis of the author, funded by the Spanish Government (Subprogram FPI-MICCIN) as part of the Groupe Européen de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur le Changement Religieux (GERICR) research program.

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