February 15th, 2008

Conversion and Time in Global Pentecostalism:
a lifelong ‘live’ experience

VU University Amsterdam
11-13 June 2008
Venue: Pinkstergemeente Amsterdam
Arent Janszoon Ernststraat 302 Amsterdam

The conference seeks to explore new directions for the study of conversion looking specifically to Pentecostalism. The need for new directions emerged out of the work of the interdisciplinary research program ‘Conversion Careers and Culture Politics in Global Pentecostalism’ at the VU University in Amsterdam and the Centre for Intercultural Theology (IIMO), Utrecht University. This program started in 2004 and has been funded by the NWO-project: ‘The Future of the Religious Past’.

We propose conversion to be a lifelong experience beyond the important notions of rupture and radical change while acknowledging them to be important elements in conversion stories and experiences. It is the continuous appeal to change and the recurrent negotiation of the present, past and future in conversion processes we want to stress in order to move away from time-restrained models. In that sense conversion is not only a lifelong but also a continuously ‘live’ experience, i.e. ‘in the here and now’. We believe that perceptions of time in Pentecostal practices are a powerful instrument in a world where people seem to be captured by culture and identity politics. It is through conversion that converts and converters understand culture and personal lives. In all the Pentecostalisms we study, conversion and the making of time and its various temporalities are reciprocally implicated in new and powerful ways, which, we feel, demand constructive scholarly engagement.

By emphasizing the mutually constitutive relationship between conversion and time, we will address the dynamic from multiple perspectives:

1) We will focus on the particular ways converts experience and address time and temporalities, i.e. past, present and future in their construction of a (new) Pentecostal identity.
2) We also will point to the embodiment of temporalities in the process of conversion, i.e. the body as mediating, construing and expressing conversion.
3) We further will rethink the relationship between time and space in conversion, taking in consideration how converts position themselves and move in what we could call a global and virtual Pentecostal space.


The conference program will be organized around these three perspectives. The program includes the following:

11 June
Public Event in Dutch. Communication of research findings to a large public

Thursday 12 June 2008

09.30-10.00 registration and Coffee/Tea

10.00 – 10.10 Opening by André Droogers

10.10 -12.30 Session 1: Conversion and Time
Chair: Birgit Meyer

10.10-11.10 Keynote Lecture Lewis Rambo: The Vicissitudes of Conversion:Contemporary Conversion Studies and the Emergence of a New Paradigm

11.10-11.30 Coffee/Tea

11.30-12.30 Keynote Lecture Matthew Engelke: Past Conversion

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30-17.30 Session 2: Results Research Program “Conversion Careers and Culture Politics in Global Pentecostalism”
Chair: André Droogers

13.30-14.10 Henri Gooren: Conversion, ritual and time: Pentecostals and charismatic Catholics in Managua, Nicaragua
– discussant Clara Mafra
14.10-14.50 Ikuya Noguchi: Conversion in the Transnational Context: Korean Pentecostalism in Japan
- discussant Juliette Koning

14.50 -15.10 Coffee/Tea

15.10 –15.50 Linda van de Kamp: Converting the Spirit Spouse: Time and Relatedness in Brazilian Pentecostalism in Mozambique
- discussant Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu
15.50 -16.30 Miranda Klaver: Negotiating Christian tradition: Conversion and baptism in new evangelical churches in the Netherlands
- discussant Cecil M. Robeck, Jr

16.30-16.50 Coffee/Tea

16.50-17.30 Regien Smit: Pentecostal Migrants dealing with the past. A comparison between two migrant Pentecostal churches in Rotterdam
–discussant Catherine Wanner

17.30 Drinks

Friday 13 June 2008

09.30-10.00 Coffee/Tea

10.00 – 12.30 Session 3: Temporalities and Identity in Conversion Chair: Oscar Salemink

10.00-11.00 Keynote Lecture Simon Coleman: Between ‘Making’ and ‘Invoking’ History: The Everyday Ruptures of Pentecostalism

11.00-11.20 Coffee/Tea

11.20 –12.20 Keynote: Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu: ‘Your Body Is A Temple’: Conversion Narratives in African-led Eastern European Pentecostalism

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30-15.00 Session 4: Conversion and the Body
Chair: Marjo de Theije

13.30 – 14.00 Martijn Oosterbaan: Technologies of Conversion
- discussant Clara Mafra
14.00 – 14.30 Marleen de Witte: Touched by the Spirit. Converting the body in a Ghanaian charismatic church
- discussant Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu

14.30 – 14.50 coffee and tea

14.50-15.50 Session 5: Conversion and Space
Chair: Peter Versteeg

14.50 –15.20 Juliette Koning: Backrooms, Showrooms and Webrooms: Pentecostal Space in Indonesia and Malaysia
- discussant Freek Colombijn

15.20 –15.50 Kim Knibbe: Managing multiculturalism in a Nigerian Pentecostal church in the Netherlands: How much does place matter?
- discussant Catherine Wanner

15.50-16.15 Coffee/Tea

16.15-17.15 Concluding Lecture André Droogers


If you wish to attend, please send an e-mail with your name and affiliation to
Due to the need of arranging various logistic matters, we would like to encourage you to register before the date of June 9.

Conference registration is free
Register via

For the program with abstracts see Conference Conversion and Time

January 26th, 2005

Welcome at

January 19th, 2005
    Pentecostal is part of the research program on global Pentecostalism: Conversion Careers and Culture Politics in Pentecostalism; A Comparative Study in Four Continents. In this program the relation between the rapid growth and Pentecostal churches attitudes towards their cultural and social context is studied. This site offers information about Pentecostalism in Europe, Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America. In addition, this site provides a place where different researchers and interested persons can share their knowledge, discuss topics related to Pentecostalism, and may post news and events.

    The Research Program is sponsored by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO