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Ronald Todd Bueno approved for a PhD award

Ronald Todd Bueno has just been approved for a PhD award for his thesis on ‘Community Engagement as a New and Contested Ritual: An Ethnographic Study of Five Pentecostal Congregations in El Salvador’.

This thesis offers an ethnographic study of five traditional Pentecostal congregations in El Salvador that partner with community leaders, local associations, and public and private entities to identify and implement community-wide development initiatives. It examines why pastors and leaders choose to introduce the new practice and how they use available cultural strategies to ritualize community engagement into their congregations. The main argument here is that the new practice reinforces, challenges and transforms Pentecostal adherents’ sense of identity, sociality, and way-in-the-world. The Pentecostal congregations’ role in community development remains contingent upon pastors’ authority to introduce and ritualize new development practices as well as their ability to create and sustain relationships of trust with non-church, community members to catalyse stable linking networks needed for a community to thrive.

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