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Ellen Lewin
University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA 52242-1320)
Traditional Spiritual Practices and the LGBT Community In a Black Pentecostal Church Coalition

An ethnographic study on the experiences of black LGBT Pentecostals who belong to the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries.

The proposed project will cover the final writing up phase of a six-year study of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a coalition of predominantly black, LGBT, Pentecostal churches located across the United States. The group uniquely embraces worshippers otherwise excluded from full participation in black churches, but who ardently seek a collective spiritual experience in an expressive worship setting, as well as a way to reaffirm their connection with the black church, a foundational African American community institution. Filled With the Spirit is an ethnography focused on personal narratives by church leaders and lay members, on analysis of liturgical language, testimonies, and other ritual expression, and on how these spiritual experiences facilitate members’ choices of “ministries” to carry out in their churches and communities. The book focuses on a largely neglected aspect of anthropological studies of religion and LGBT studies in anthropology (and other disciplines).

Project fields:
Cultural Anthropology; Gender Studies; Religion, Other

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 6/30/2016