Healing, Modernity and Social Conflicts The Discourses on Illness Between the Ethiopian Pentecostals in Rome


  • Osvaldo Costantini Sapienza University of Rome, I


Selected:Ethiopia , Illness Narratives, Migration , Pentecostalism


This work is based on 18-months field research I carried out among Eritrean and Ethiopian Pentecostals in Rome (Italy). One of the topics of my work focused on the meaning they give to the evil: I collected different illness narratives and various cases. In this paper, I would like to shed light upon some dimensions of the sickness that go beyond the disease itself. By proposing a case of a woman who became sick during her high school period, because of a witchcraft attack, I will try to analyze the various stakes we can find in the interpretation of the evil, in the etiology of the sickness and in her illness narratives. The various issues will be also analyzed by putting them in the wider picture of the conflict between Pentecostalism and local “tradition”, represented, in this case, by the local Orthodox (tewahdo) Church and its therapeutic practices, considered by Pentecostals to be devilish.