Women of Fire and Spirit

Women of Fire and Spirit : Faith, History, and Gender in Roho Religion in Western Kenya

3.6 (5 ratings by Goodreads)
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This is the first extensive study of the African Christian Roho religion, or Holy Spirit movement, in Western Kenya. Hoehler-Fatton uses extensive oral histories and life narratives to provide a counterweight to existing historical literature, and also brings to the fore the role of women in the evolution and expansion of the Church.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 162.1 x 237.7 x 24.9mm | 675.86g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 16 pp halftones, 2 maps
  • 0195097904
  • 9780195097900
  • 1,727,546

Review quote

...adds detail and considerable texture to the study of indigenous religion in Africa. * Choice *show more

Back cover copy

The Roho or Holy Spirit churches of Nyanza Province in western Kenya spring from a charismatic Christian movement that emerged among the Luo during the colonial era. In Women of Fire and Spirit, Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton uses oral histories and life narratives of active Roho participants, giving them full voice in constructing the history of their movement. In doing so, she counter-balances the existing historical literature, which draws heavily on colonial records. Hoehler-Fatton's sources call into question the paradigm of "schism" that has dominated the discussion of African independent Christianity. Faith, rather than schism or politics, emerges here as the hallmark of Roho religion. Hoehler-Fatton's book is doubly unusual in emphasizing the role of women in the evolution and expansion of the Roho Church. She traces the gradual transformation of women's involvement from the early years when - drawing on indigenous models of female spirit possession - women acted as soldiers and pastors, to the present condition of Western-style institutionalization and limited leadership opportunities for women. Today's Roho women, nevertheless, find fulfillment in their work as healers and continue to draw inspiration from the defiance of past heroines.show more

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3.6 out of 5 stars
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3 60% (3)
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