Alejandra Perez Rotondo
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationCalifornia, Berkeley, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10442
Approve DateOctober 11, 2022
Project TitlePerez Rotondo, Alejandra (Berkeley, U of California) "Prophetic atmospheres: : ethics of healing and politics of exorcism in contemporary Ethiopia"
Amidst an ongoing reconfiguration of religious boundaries marked by the decline of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s authority and the appearance of religious movements such as neo-Pentecostal churches, spiritual healing practices, like exorcism, have been revived in Ethiopia through a proliferation of charismatic figures. While Pentecostal “prophets” provide the most visible example, the Orthodox church and some Islamic congregations have also witnessed the emergence of similar figures at their margins. This prophetic atmosphere has coincided with economic liberalization, infrastructural development, and the recent re-organization of the federal political model – reforms now threatened by civil war, debt, and soaring inflation. My dissertation project addresses these questions through ethnographic attention to the interplay between the divine and the demonic –or good and evil– as they are constructed and managed in the discourses and practices of prophets and political figures in Ethiopia. Can attention to the resurgence of the prophetic clarify the meaning and ethical implications of the crisis of political authority in contemporary Ethiopia and beyond?