The “Galilee of China”: Pentecostals without Pentecostalism

In: Global Chinese Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity
Author: Yi Liu

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This chapter is based on fieldwork research in Nanyang Prefecture of Henan Province. Using the concept of “lived religion” and a life history approach, the author describes a kind of Pentecostal-style Christian life practiced in a particular locality. Through an analysis of charismatic leaders of healing, confession and the born-again experience, and the role of spiritual songs in celebrations, the author found that the local Christians are shuling 属灵 (spiritual) or ling’en 灵恩 (Pentecostal) to a great extent, but they are not necessarily Pentecostalists—that is, they are not aligned with a particular Pentecostal denomination in terms of theology or church organization. In addition, the author emphasizes the importance of focusing on the local sphere as the proper unit of analysis when studying Christianity in China, rather than discussing Christianity in China on a national level.

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