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Rhetoric of God's Empowerment in Nigerian Christianity: Its Import for Christian Identity and Social Responsibility

Victor I. Ezigbo

Abstract


The belief that God empowers Christ's followers, enabling them to confront religious, socio-economic, and political problems, reverberates in contemporary Nigerian Christianity. Sermons, healing and deliverance services, and gospel songs are the primary vehicles for conveying this belief both within and beyond Christian communities. Nigerian Christians' talk about God's empowerment, with particular reference to how they imagine the ways Christians can embody and utilize God's empowerment, raises important social questions. How should Christians negotiate their Christian identity and social responsibility within the context of the complex relations of religious and socio-economic currents of contemporary Nigeria? The role that the rhetoric of God's empowerment plays in Nigerian Christianity cannot be overlooked without serious social and religious consequences. Rhetoric of God's empowerment provides a window through which one can see how many Nigerian Christians are constantly negotiating their Christian identity and social responsibility within the religious and socio-economic contexts of Nigeria. Many Nigerian Christians do not concern themselves primarily with achieving logical certainty on matters concerning God's existence.

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Published by the University of Florida Press on behalf of the Association of Global South Studies.