Transcendent Kingdom

by

Yaa Gyasi

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P.T. is the youth pastor at First Assemblies of God Church when Nana and Gifty are children there. His real name is “Pastor Tom,” but he goes by P.T. in an attempt to seem approachable to the youth. He tries to act like he thinks teenagers act, which includes going by “P.T.” instead of his real name, and addressing Nana by made-up slang that he thinks sounds “black.” He tries to make God seem “cool” and thus makes himself into “God’s bouncer.” But in his unwillingness to grapple with challenging questions, such as those that Nana pose in Youth services, he demonstrates a certain shallowness in the way that the Pentecostals of Gifty’s youth practice and understand their religion. This contributes to her loss of faith.
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P. T. Character Timeline in Transcendent Kingdom

The timeline below shows where the character P. T. appears in Transcendent Kingdom. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 19
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...believing Gifty, was conflicted about God. Gifty recalls how he hated their church’s youth pastor, P.T. P.T.’s attempts to ingratiate himself with the youth were heavy-handed. Gifty remembers this because when... (full context)
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P.T.’s desire to make God “hip” was aggressive. Gifty imagines him thinking Jesus was a club... (full context)
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...and suffering to get missionaries for Africa, even though poverty wasn’t purely a racial issue. P.T.’s lack of consideration for the hypothetical Africans was based on the belief that some people... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...seriously and felt like an apostle writing a new book of the Bible. Later, when P.T. explained that the “Word” or “Logos” in the gospel meant something more like “plea” or... (full context)
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...than her own, which shunned intellectualism as a trap and sidestepped hard questions. That’s why P.T. had shut down Nana’s question about the villagers. (full context)
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After P.T.’s sermon, Gifty became more fascinated with the idea of the Logos and with words generally.... (full context)
Chapter 30
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...to use volunteering at the church. She was usually the only person who went with P.T. to the soup kitchen, but lots of the teens liked going to the fireworks stall... (full context)
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P.T.’s protégé was a kid named Ryan Green, whom Gifty didn’t like even though she didn’t... (full context)