What Spirit(s), Which Public(s)? The Pneumatologies of Global Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

Modern Pentecostalism, named after the Day of Pentecost event in Acts 2, has come to be associated with a theology of the Spirit. Yet whether contemporary pentecostal theology has a coherent understanding of the Spirit, or whether the plurality of pentecostal and charismatic Christianities presume a diversity of pneumatologies instead, are open questions. This article suggests how the many tongues of the Spirit poured out on all flesh on the Day of Pentecost can be said to anticipate the multiplicity of theologies of the Spirit in the present global renewal landscape. Yet it is also precisely herein that historic and contemporary Pentecostalisms and their interfaces with the public square provide opportunities and present challenges for the ongoing discussion of the doctrine of the Spirit in particular and for the public theological task in general.

  • 1)

    Allan AndersonAn Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press2004) part 1 posits that modern Pentecostalism be understood as having multiple origins around the world at the turn of the twentieth century rather than an Azusa-centric genealogy.

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  • 7)

    Cf. William W. Menzies‘The Reformed Roots of Pentecostalism’Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies9:2 (2006) 260–82 and Edith L. Blumhofer Restoring the Faith: The Assemblies of God Pentecostalism and American Culture (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press 1993) pp. 29–34 with Vinson Synan The Holiness-Pentecostal Movements in the United States (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans 1971).

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  • 9)

    See Allan AndersonSpreading Fires: The Missionary Nature of Early Pentecostalism (London: SCM Press2007).

  • 12)

    See Cheryl J. SandersSaints in Exile: The Holiness-Pentecostal Experience in African-American Religion and Culture (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press1996) and Zora Neale Hurston The Sanctified Church (Berkeley: Turtle Island 1981).

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  • 14)

    See D. William Faupel‘Glossolalia as Foreign Language: An Investigation of the Early Twentieth-Century Pentecostal Claim’Wesleyan Theological Journal31:1 (1996) 95–109.

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  • 18)

    See Stanley M. Horton ed.Systematic Theology: A Pentecostal Perspective (Springfield: Logion Press1995).

  • 20)

    See also Amos Yong‘Justice Deprived, Justice Demanded: Afropentecostalisms and the Task of World Pentecostal Theology Today’Journal of Pentecostal Theology15:1 (2006) 127–47.

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  • 21)

      See William W. MenziesAnointed to Serve: The Story of the Assemblies of God (Springfield: Gospel Publishing House1971) ch. 6.

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  • 23)

    David Bernard et al.Meet the United Pentecostal Church International (Hazelwood: Word Aflame Publications1989) p. 56.

  • 28)

    Harvey G. CoxFire from Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the 21st Century (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley1995).

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  • 30)

    Harvey Gallagher CoxThe Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective (New York: Macmillan1966).

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