Hüwelmeier, “Performing Intimacy with God”

Hüwelmeier, Gertrud.  2014. Performing Intimacy with God: Spiritual Experiences in Vietnamese Diasporic Pentecostal Networks.  German History 32(3): 414-430.

Abstract: This article seeks to contribute to the dialogue between the history and anthropology of Christianity by addressing the emotional practices of Vietnamese Pentecostals in present-day Berlin. Particularly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Vietnamese migrants, former contract workers in the former GDR, and ‘boat people’ whose flight from Vietnam led them to West Germany, founded Pentecostal churches and connected their old and new homes via transportable religious practices. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork carried out among Vietnamese migrants in Berlin who converted to charismatic Pentecostal Christianity after arriving in Germany, this article explores the allure of charismatic Pentecostal Christianity for people living in the diaspora, arguing that emotions as cultural practices represent a substantial part of religious rituals in Vietnamese Pentecostal charismatic networks. In the context of migration, emotions are transformed, transmitted, and performed in different ways, and at the same time, the migration experience generates specific emotions that are dealt with in religious practices. :