Enlarging the kingdom – African Pentecostals in Italy
Projection et discussion autour du film documentaire de Annalisa Butticci et Andrew Esiebo


Enlarging The Kingdom
For centuries the Catholic Church has been the dominant church with which Europeans (in particular in the Mediterranean region) illustrate their national and cultural identity. In Italy the Catholic Church’s monopoly and symbolic power – even if subjected to continuous tension – still appears to play a decisive role in defining the nation’s religious identity as well as the positions and roles of other religious actors. However, its monopoly and authority, and the symbolic boundaries of its system of belief and practices seem to be challenged by the great differentiation which is now characterizing its social environment. Other « Christianities » are populating Italian society questioning the traditional authority and universal truth of the Catholic Church. Enlarging the Kingdom explores the encounters, interactions, and conflicts between Catholicism and African Pentecostalism. By putting in conversation Nigerian and Ghanaian Pastors and Catholic Priests the documentary looks at their diverse understanding of evil forces, authorized and unauthorized forms of relating to the Divine, the making of idols and icons, religious leadership and authority, women access to the pulpit and the religious politics of the Italian Nation State. Enlarging the Kingdom offers a unique insight into the tensions between Catholicism and African religiosities, the challenges of African Pentecostals in Italy, and the role of Pentecostal Churches for African immigrant communities.
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