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Addicted to Christ

Remaking Men in Puerto Rican Pentecostal Drug Ministries

Helena Hansen


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (4/20/2018)


How are spiritual power and self-transformation cultivated in street ministries? In Addicted to Christ, Helena Hansen provides an in-depth analysis of Pentecostal ministries in Puerto Rico that were founded and run by self-identified “ex-addicts,” ministries that are also widespread in poor Black and Latino neighborhoods in the U.S. mainland. Richly ethnographic, the book harmoniously melds Hansen’s dual expertise in cultural anthropology and psychiatry. Through the stories of ministry converts, she examines key elements of Pentecostalism: mysticism, ascetic practice, and the idea of other-worldliness. She then reconstructs the ministries' strategies of spiritual victory over addiction: transformation techniques to build spiritual strength and authority through pain and discipline; cultivation of alternative masculinities based on male converts’ reclamation of domestic space; and radical rupture from a post-industrial “culture of disposability.” By contrasting the ministries’ logic of addiction with that of biomedicine, Hansen rethinks roads to recovery, discovering unexpected convergences with biomedicine while revealing the allure of street corner ministries.

Praise For Addicted to Christ: Remaking Men in Puerto Rican Pentecostal Drug Ministries

“Readers from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines will find much to glean from Hansen’s text, particularly scholars in the areas of psychiatry, religious studies, and biomedicine.”
— Reading Religion, American Academy of Religion

"A phenomenal work."
— Pneuma

"Hansen’s Addicted to Christ is a phenomenal work that traverses several vital areas of reflection."
— Brill

“Powerful and beautifully written.”
— Political and Legal Anthropology Review

University of California Press, 9780520298033, 239pp.

Publication Date: April 20, 2018

About the Author

Helena Hansen, MD, PhD is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York University.