Soft Tongue, Powerful Voice, Huge Influence: The Dynamics of Gender, Soft Power, and Political Influence in Faith Evangelistic Ministries in Kenya

  • Damaris Seleina Parsitau
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


Pentecostal female clergy are increasingly appropriating soft power to gain power and influence not just in their respective religious organizations but also in all aspects of public life. In this chapter, Parsitau examines how neo-Pentecostal female clergy in Kenya construct, appropriate, and embody soft power and spirituality as an alternative model to contest civic and public life. Based on ethnographic research carried out in the last five years on the Faith Evangelistic Ministry and its founder, Evangelist Teresia Wairimu, the chapter seeks to understand not only how this female cleric appropriates religious soft power but also how she mediates between spirituality and politics in a highly contested political space; it attempts to understand the relationship and intersections between these two significant, emerging domains of power for women and argues that this has created its own tensions and paradoxes in which their coziness with the state leads to serious cooption that ultimately stifles their voices.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damaris Seleina Parsitau
    • 1
  1. 1.Egerton UniversityNakuruKenya

Personalised recommendations