Born a pastor, being a woman: biographical accounts on gendered religious gifts in the Diaspora

Rafael Cazarin*, Mar Griera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Women’s presence in Pentecostal leadership positions has slowly increased over the past decades, which raises new questions on the reconfiguration of gender roles and its relationship with religious doctrines. Based on empirical research, this article examines the construction of female leadership and religious authority within Pentecostal churches in a diasporic context. We draw upon biographical narratives of six female Pentecostal pastors—three African and three Latin American—who are leaders in Pentecostal churches in Spain. Our aim is to understand which conditions allowed these women to obtain positions of leadership in a mainly male dominated Pentecostal milieu and analyse the discursive articulation of Pentecostal conservative views on gender issues with local dynamics in the construction of female religious authority. The article shows that the authority of these women within the church realm is forged and legitimated through a religious narrative, one that empowers them as religious leaders without challenging their (and other women’s) subaltern role in the domains of social and family life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-470
Number of pages20
JournalCulture and Religion
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2018


  • diaspora
  • empowerment
  • gender
  • Pentecostalism
  • religious minority


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