Simon Kimbangu, le prophète de la libération de l'homme noir edition:Tome 2 pages:135-159
Conference Internationale Sur Simon Kimbangu location:Kinshasa (DR Congo) date:24-28 July 2010
This chapter is concerned with the role of visual media in Kinshasa’s Christian communities. The main question deals with the “mediation” of the sacred within the circles of born-again Christians and Kimbanguists. In particular, I ask: how do religious practitioners make sense of the visual
possibilities of modern communication and information technologies (ICT)? Or, how do, in emic perspectives, the visual possibilities of ICT differently allow, facilitate or hamper the flow of divine powers and the expansion of Kinshasa’s Christian communities?
With this chapter, I want to initiate comparative investigations in Kinshasa’s Christian landscape by juxtaposing PCC and Kimbanguism, an Independent African Church venerating the prophet Simon Kimbangu. Comparison is done concerning their engagements with the visual as a privileged channel to establish connection with the Otherworldly, the Holy Spirit (in the case of the PCCs) or Simon Kimbangu (for the Kimbanguists).
The main argument of the paper is that although both Kimbanguist and Pentecostal Christianity participate in Kinshasa’s media world, their media pedagogies are utterly different. This follows different approaches towards the power of the image; the role of witchcraft in their beliefs system; the definition of how to become a “good Christian”; and a different hierarchy of the optical and the acoustic within the communication with the Divine.