Addicted to ChristRemaking Men in Puerto Rican Pentecostal Drug Ministries

Addicted to ChristRemaking Men in Puerto Rican Pentecostal Drug Ministries

Helena Hansen

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9780520298033

Publisher: University of California Press

Abstract

How are spiritual power and self-transformation cultivated in street ministries? This book 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. The book melds cultural anthropology and psychiatry. Through the stories of ministry converts, the book examines key elements of Pentecostalism: mysticism, ascetic practice, and the idea of other-worldliness. It 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, the book rethinks roads to recovery, discovering unexpected convergences with biomedicine while revealing the allure of street corner ministries.