This book is the first detailed academic study of megachurches in the UK. In particular, it explores the nature and significance of social engagement by megachurches in the context of London. The research contains empirical case studies of two Anglican and three African diaspora Pentecostal churches. As well as exploring the range of social engagement activities provided by these churches, the study offers explanations in term of theological motivations and the influence of globalisation. Subsequently, the book outlines the importance of the findings for the relationship between church and society in the contemporary context, addressing the implications for social policy and practice. The book advances discussions in public theology, megachurch studies, Pentecostal and Charismatic studies and ecclesiology.
Liquid Ecclesiology Pete Ward explores the theological contours of the turn to ethnography in the study of the Christian Church. His approach rests on a theology of culture that holds in tension and paradox the expression of the Church and divine presence. This theological framework is then developed through an extended qualitative empirical case study examining the communicative practices of the contemporary evangelical Church. The case study examines how the evangelical Gospel through expression has become marginalised in the everyday life of communities being replaced by a new more individual and personalised theology seen in worship songs. The final section of the book returns to the debates around ethnographic forms of theology and the question of normativity. This book will be of interest to all those engaged in empirical and theological work, as well as those researching the contemporary Church and evangelicalism
Narratives and Numbers: Empirical Studies of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity Mark J. Cartledge provides a rich set of essays on key themes in Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity. Using empirical research methods drawn from the social sciences he interrogates his originally gathered data by means of theology and sociology. These studies address such issues as glossolalia, prophecy, spirituality, gender and the family, the doctrine of the Trinity, socialization, altruism and the practice of healing. Collectively they provide original insight into one of the most vibrant forms of Christianity today. Additionally, these studies model how empirical research in religion can be bought into conversation with theological discourse. The findings of this research can be used by scholars and students from different perspectives and disciplinary contexts.
The intersection of religion, ritual, emotion, globalization, migration, sexuality, gender, race, and class, is especially insightful for researching Pentecostal notions of the body. Pentecostalism is well known for overt bodily expressions that includes kinesthetic worship with emotive music and sustained acts of prayer. Among Pentecostals there is considerable debate about bodies, the role of the Holy Spirit, possession of evil spirits, deliverance, exorcism, revival, and healing of bodies and emotions. Pentecostalism is identified as a religion on the move and so bodies are transformed in the context of globalization. Pentecostalism is also associated with notions of sexuality, gender, race and class where bodies are often liberated and limited. This volume evaluates these themes associated with contemporary research on the body.
In this landmark volume, internationally recognized scholars address key intellectual and practical conundrums that not only trouble practical theology but also reflect biases and breakdowns in the construction of theological knowledge in academy and religious communities at large. With critical facility and unheralded honesty that includes reflexivity about their own lives in the academy, the authors tackle complex issues that refuse easy solutions— racism, hierarchy of theory over practice, devaluation of small case studies, risks of interdisciplinarity to scholarly identity, inequities between Christian traditions, unreflective Christian-centrism, and tensions between the production of scholarship and public service. Outcomes of these issues will have serious implications for the discipline and the study of theology for years to come.
Contributors include Tom Beaudoin, Eileen R. Campbell-Reed, Faustino M. Cruz, Jaco Dreyer, Courtney T. Goto, Tone Stangeland Kaufman, Joyce Ann Mercer, Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, Phillis Isabella Sheppard, Katherine Turpin, Claire E. Wolfteich.
Shalom, the Spirit and Pentecostal Conversion, Grace Milton presents a uniquely practical-theological model of Pentecostal conversion, centered on empirical data from a congregational case study. Pentecostal-Charismatic conversion is commonly equated with a dramatic, “Damascus road” type event, which directly opposes prevailing theories within the social sciences that conversion is a more gradual process over time. This raises the question, how far do these Pentecostal stereotypes reflect lived experience?
In this book, for the first time, the experiences and beliefs of ordinary Pentecostal believers are drawn into conversation with conversion theories from the human sciences (sociology, psychology and anthropology) and theology. The result is a distinctly Pentecostal model of conversion, which interprets religious transformation through the theological lens of
Charismatic Practice and Catholic Parish Life - the Incipient Pentecostalization of the Church in Guatemala and Latin America, Jakob Egeris Thorsen offers a detailed ethnographic and theological analysis of the impact of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on the Catholic Church in the region. Based on fieldwork, this interdisciplinary study examines how Charismatic practice and spirituality permeate both local parish life and the pastoral plans of the Catholic Church in Guatemala and Latin America.
The Charismatic Renewal is the largest lay movement in Latin America and has a profound influence on the Catholic Church. This book analyses both the social and ecclesiological consequences of an incipient Pentecostalization of Guatemalan and Latin American Catholicism.
Many forms of present-day Western spirituality contribute to people’s well-being, whereas others have raised criticism. The study of these different forms is, however, complicated by their continuously diverging practices and ideas. By bringing to bear a multidisciplinary approach, the ten specialists of this volume are able to analyze diverse new instances of spirituality, e.g. in religious contexts (Buddhism, Christianity), popular use, organizations and enterprises, (alternative) health service, and works of art. Most contributions also discuss methods and theories. In their editorial chapters, Elisabeth Hense, Frans Jespers and Peter Nissen show the remarkable overlaps in the approaches, definitions and evaluations of the contributions in this volume and provide a theoretical framework. Both the fresh analyses and the theoretical reflections in this volume point the way to new approaches in this field of study.
Contributors include: Jerry Biberman, Mark Elliott, Miguel Farias, Johan Goud, Paul Heelas, Elisabeth Hense, Frans Jespers, Hubert Knoblauch, Peter Nissen, Paul van der Velde
The Concept of Religion Hans Schilderman edits a volume on the definition and empirical study of religion within the changing landscape of modern society. Now that we can no longer assume a simple harmony between the scientific concept of religion, church doctrine and practiced belief, issues concerning the definition and measurement of religion are becoming crucial issues to academic institutions. The contributing authors present empirical studies studying issues of lifespan and socialisation at school settings; of vocation and profession at church and hospital settings; and culture and nation of society at large. The volume offers a beautiful sample of the empirical study of religion; a conceptual and illustrative overview of the academic field for students and scholars in religion.
This volume is about the impact of religion (beliefs and practices) on attitudes towards human rights of the first, second and third generation. The first four papers about the impact of Lutheranism, Calvinism, Catholicism and Islam are historical and theoretical of character. The six other papers are based on empirical research in England and Wales, Germany, Turkey, India, Norway and on comparative empirical research in six North-West European countries. From both groups of articles it appears that ‘the’ impact of religion does not exist. In varying historical periods and contexts various religions, c.q. religious denominations, have various effects on attitudes towards human rights, i.e. positive effects (+), ambivalent effects (±), no effects (0), and negative effects (−).
Contributors include: Francis-Vincent Anthony, Pal Ketil Botvar, Selim Eren, Leslie Francis, Üzejir Ok, Ruud Peters, Marion Reindl, Mandy Robbins, Rik Torfs, Johannes (Hans) van der Ven, John Witte Jr., Hans-Georg Ziebertz