Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226537207 Published April 2018
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780226537177 Published April 2018
E-book $10.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226537344 Published April 2018 Also Available From

Filled with the Spirit

Sexuality, Gender, and Radical Inclusivity in a Black Pentecostal Church Coalition

Ellen Lewin

Filled with the Spirit

Ellen Lewin

240 pages | 3 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226537207 Published April 2018
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780226537177 Published April 2018
E-book $10.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226537344 Published April 2018
In 2001, a collection of open and affirming churches with predominantly African American membership and a Pentecostal style of worship formed a radically new coalition. The group, known now as the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries or TFAM, has at its core the idea of “radical inclusivity”: the powerful assertion that everyone, no matter how seemingly flawed or corrupted, has holiness within. Whether you are LGBT, have HIV/AIDS, have been in prison, abuse drugs or alcohol, are homeless, or are otherwise compromised and marginalized, TFAM tells its people, you are one of God’s creations.

In Filled with the Spirit, Ellen Lewin gives us a deeply empathetic ethnography of the worship and community central to TFAM, telling the story of how the doctrine of radical inclusivity has expanded beyond those it originally sought to serve to encompass people of all races, genders, sexualities, and religious backgrounds. Lewin examines the seemingly paradoxical relationship between TFAM and traditional black churches, focusing on how congregations and individual members reclaim the worship practices of these churches and simultaneously challenge their authority. The book looks closely at how TFAM worship is legitimated and enhanced by its use of gospel music and considers the images of food and African American culture that are central to liturgical imagery, as well as how understandings of personal authenticity tie into the desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Throughout, Lewin takes up what has been mostly missing from our discussions of race, gender, and sexuality—close attention to spirituality and faith.

Invocation: The Anthropology Ministry
1          “I’ve Been ’Buked”: The Double Consciousness of Being LGBT and Black
2          “Lead Me, Guide Me”: The Charisma of Bishop Flunder
3          “Just as I Am”: Revealing Authentic Selves
4          “Old-Time Religion”: Invoking Memory
5          “What a Fellowship”: Radically Inclusive Futures
Benediction: Continuities and Departures
References Cited
Review Quotes
Reading Religion
“[Filled with the Spirit] makes a significant contribution to scholarship on African American religion as well as religion and sexuality. . . .Written in an accessible style, the book is also exemplary in the way the author narrates her own experiences during the research and performs self-reflexivity with respect to her position as a white secular Jewish anthropologist who “never expected to study religion.””
E. Patrick Johnson, Northwestern University
Filled with the Spirit opens up a space to rethink how we theorize black homosexuality in the context of religion. Lewin complicates traditional views of black sexuality and spirituality by focusing on an institution that is steeped in the worship rituals of the traditional black church but whose “radical inclusivity” promotes an affirmation of homosexual identity (as well as other stigmatized identities) rather than a disavowal of it. This volume makes an enormous contribution to a number of different fields, including, but not limited to, anthropology, religious studies, queer studies, and black studies.”
Judith Casselberry | Pneuma
"Lewin sheds light on an important, and until now ignored (in scholarship), religious community of predominately Black LGBT Christians...Lewin’s study...prompts us to think critically about the convergence of faith practices, politics, and identity while keeping them in balance. Scholars of gender and sexuality would be well-advised to heed Lewin’s call."
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