Home Institution

Kenyon College

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Program Name

Madagascar: Urbanization and Rural Development


The histories and characteristics of five different Christian churches within Antsirabe, the FLM, FPLM, FLMAK, MRE, and Shine, reveal telling examples of how Malagasy Christians negotiate their religious lives within the personal, local, and national contexts. Although a two-dimensional representation does not do justice to the intricacies of each church’s individual situation, all five generally fall onto the spectrums of “historic” to “modern,” “traditional” to “innovative,” and “national” to “local,” with the FLM in the former classification, and nouvelles fois in the latter, and the independent churches falling somewhere in between. Analyzed across seven comparative and two investigative categories, three general conclusions are found. The first suggests that the circumstances of a “pastoral bottleneck,” lack of overseeing structure, and different perikopa have all led to a change in theological and practical orientation of independent churches from the FLM. The second and third suggest that trends of membership transition may continue to flow from the FLM and its independent churches to the nouvelles fois if the national economy does not improve, or if the FLM does not change its national restrictions concerning adorative worship, respectively.


Christian Denominations and Sects | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


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