Journal of Religion in Africa vol:41 issue:3 pages:280-310
The article deals with the social significance of confessions among Kinshasa’s born-again Christians. Together with conversion narratives and former witches’ testimonies, confessions represent the main discursive rituals in the religious practices of newborn Christians. The analysis departs from the observation that, among Kinshasa’s born-again Christians, first, confessions are usually preceded or followed by deliverance rituals, and, second, they are hardly ever acted out in the intimate and private encounter with the pastor. Rather, these narratives are usually expressed in public, preferably with the sinners’ victims as audience. The public nature of the confessions and their co-occurrence with spiritual cleansing as performed via the deliverance rituals allow us to embark on an analysis which foregrounds the uncertainty of the Christian subject and the ways in which the subject can emerge but also be broken down.