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Calvin Smith

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Calvin Smith

Abstract

In 1979 Nicaragua's Sandinista guerrillas seized power with the help of revolutionary Christians. Yet by virtue of their eschatology and worldview, classical Pentecostals in Nicaragua were less enthusiastic. Premillennialism, otherworldliness and a focus on evangelism generated an apoliticism that was wholly unacceptable to a collectivist, this-worldly regime keen to co-opt the Church to help establish its vision of heaven on earth. Meanwhile, Sandinista antipathy towards Israel, close links with the East Bloc (traditionally associated with biblical Gog and Magog), and the sometimes brutal repression of evangelicals all contributed to a dispensational perception of an apocalyptic, dualistic struggle between good and evil. Thus, eschatology played an important role in shaping the nature of Pentecostal-Sandinista relations.

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Pentecostal Power

Expressions, Impact and Faith of Latin American Pentecostalism

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Edited by Calvin Smith

During the 1980s an explosion of Pentecostalism across Latin America attracted considerable attention among sociologists, political scientists and regional experts, eventually spreading to other academic disciplines. Indeed, ongoing spectacular growth and the social and political impact of the movement have strongly challenged secularization theory. Yet while studies exploring the phenomenon are plentiful, many limit their analysis to a single country, issue or the perspective of a particular discipline. Thus, this edited volume provides readers with a multidisciplinary and continent-wide treatment of the nature and effects of Latin American Pentecostalism (including a theological analysis, notably absent in most studies) by various experts with published work in the field, and as such represents an important contribution to the current literature.
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Calvin L. Smith