Christianity, Presence, and the Problem of History

on two forms of Christian temporality in the Faroe Islands


  • Jan Jensen Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge


In this article, I compare two forms of Christian temproality in the Faroe Islands. In so doing, I problematize some of the ways in which the idea of history has been applied theoretically to studies of churches and congregations in the country. As a remedy to what I see as the shortcomings of social theory when applied to Pentecostal temporality, I propose seeing the latter as a form of extended present. This is set in contrast to dispensationalism, which sees historical and theological time as occuring in a sequential manner. Dispensationalism in this context refers more than anything to the Plymouth Brethren, who make up the biggest group of non-Lutheran Christians in the Faroe Islands. Finally, I reflect on how temporality is shaped by operational goals that differ between similar, yet subtly different Christian practitioners.

Keywords: Faroe Islands, Pentecostalism, temporality, history, theology, presence, dispensationalism, orthodoxy




How to Cite

Jensen, J. (2021). Christianity, Presence, and the Problem of History: on two forms of Christian temporality in the Faroe Islands. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, 45(2), 3–16.