Ideology and Identity Construction in the Discourse of Nigerian Pentecostal Pastors


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies


The study is a critical evaluation of how linguistic resources are utilized by Christian Pentecostal preachers to construct individual and collective ideologies and identities, legitimize their actions, and persuade listeners, through their sermons. The study shall be carried out within the framework of Norman Fairclough (1995) and van Dijk (2001)’s model of Critical Discourse Analysis. This is to enable us establish the relationship between language, ideology, gender institution and power in a social system. The Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) theory shall also be utilized to contextualize the discourses within a socio-cultural framework thereby reinforcing the interrelationship between language and the social system. The corpus draws from interviews and observations of church services of three Pentecostal churches, namely; Living Faith Church, Mountain on Fire Ministry and Christ Embassy churches. It seeks to demonstrate how religious groups persuade or coerce others to accept their ideologies.