Transnational Networks and Public Space
Nigerian-initiated churches are of interest for a number of reasons. First, there is an established Pentecostal landscape in Nigeria, perhaps the most dynamic in the whole of Africa, often with a significant missionary impulse and theological influence on other African Christians. The choice of Lagos as one of the research locations is apposite because it is arguably the most Pentecostal city in the world. Second, Nigerian Pentecostal churches are increasingly assuming more prominent roles as they seek to address the social and moral ills of contemporary society. This not only requires empirical investigation, but also raises major theoretical questions about the relation between religion, modernity and development. Third, there is fierce competition with Islam for dominance in Nigerian public space. Thus, the inter-religious factor needs to be explored. Finally, Nigerian Pentecostal communities are often transnational in nature, with aspirations to build multicultural congregations around the globe. Thus, one of the project aims is to explore the transnational and intercultural dimensions. As the centre of the Nigerian diaspora in Europe, London is an obvious choice for research.