Changing religious affiliations: the impact of pentecostal spirituality on the methodist church in Nyambene Synod, Kenya

Mwila, Alice M. (2020) Changing religious affiliations: the impact of pentecostal spirituality on the methodist church in Nyambene Synod, Kenya. Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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This research seeks to explore the interaction between the Methodist Church in Kenya (MCK) and the Neo-Pentecostal churches in Nyambene Synod, Kenya, and the influence of this interaction on the religious landscape. The research seeks to account for changes in religious affiliations currently affecting the Methodist Church where a substantial number of their members, particularly the youth ,have moved to Pentecostal churches and movements in the region. Over time, scholars have interrogated the growth of Pentecostalism across the globe and in the Kenyan urban centres. However, no research has been done on the changes that have resulted from the interplay between Methodism and Pentecostalism in the rural Nyambene Synod, nor into the Methodist Church’s response. This thesis seeks to address this gap as I ask what factors affect religious affiliation in Nyambene Synod and the impact that changing affiliation has on the Methodist Church. Through a qualitative empirical research, this study has identified three main factors that increasingly influence movements of Christians between churches: the contemporary consumer culture that emphasises personal choice, the understanding of ecclesial identity, and the relevance of the church to contemporary (Kenyan) society. Pentecostalism appears to fare better with all three factors, while the Methodist Church is left behind. My research challenges the MCK to reassess its offer within the contemporary religious marketplace, not by imitating Pentecostal churches, but by rediscovering its Wesleyan social holiness heritage to respond to the socio-religious issues felt by its congregants. The significance of this study is that it provides an interpretative understanding of religious affiliation changes, based on qualitative analysis of the experiences of church members who have made those changes in Nyambene Synod, Kenya.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: Religious, Affiliations, Methodist, Pentecostalism, Changes, Church, Movements, Youth
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2021 10:35
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:52

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