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Negotiating RespectPentecostalism, Masculinity, and the Politics of Spiritual Authority in the Dominican Republic$
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Brendan Jamal Thornton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061689

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061689.001.0001

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Youth Gangs, Conversion, and Evangelical Moral Authority

Youth Gangs, Conversion, and Evangelical Moral Authority

Chapter:
(p.131) 5 Youth Gangs, Conversion, and Evangelical Moral Authority
Source:
Negotiating Respect
Author(s):

Brendan Jamal Thornton

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813061689.003.0005

Chapter 5 looks at the manner in which Pentecostalism has come to epitomize the ideal form of Christianity for countless barrio residents as it considers how the church is viewed publically and the conditions under which it is deemed to be a Christian authority from the perspective of popular youth gangs. The author makes the case that youth gangs reproduce evangelical authority through public recognition of Pentecostal exceptionalism. By authorizing evangelical themes of transformation and redemption and validating Pentecostal claims to sanctity, youth gangs acknowledge so-called true converts as special sanctified persons who are entitled to exceptions, exemptions, and immunities based on their verifiable commitment to serving God and their demonstrable fulfilment of a born-again lifestyle. This chapter considers the unlikely relationship between youth gangs and the church as an instantiation of Pentecostal cultural change and as a remarkable example of evangelical Christian authority in practice.

Keywords:   youth gangs, Pentecostal exceptionalism, Pentecostal cultural change, evangelical authority, conversion exception

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