The Embattled but Empowered Community

Comparing Understandings of Spiritual Power in Argentine Popular and Pentecostal Cosmologies

Series:

The global phenomenon of Pentecostal growth continues to interest scholars, particularly its local manifestations. Although previous explanations may have noted the connections between the cultural substrata and local Pentecostal practices, this book concentrates on seeking out the connections. Using both extensive field research and reflection on Latin American scholarship, the author proposes that a major link exists at the level of worldview assumptions, particularly in understandings of spiritual power. The book concludes with a reflection on the implications a conversion based on the search for spiritual power has for the future of the evangelical church in Latin America.
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Biographical Note

Wilma Wells Davies, PhD (2007) in Theology and Religious Studies, University of Birmingham. She spent nine years teaching Socio-Cultural Anthropology in Argentina and currently is lecturer and tutor at All Nations Christian College, England.

Review Quotes

"Pentecostal healing rituals appear similar to those of popular religion, an essential difference the role of the Pentecostal pastor as a preacher of the Bible (242). This finding alone marks this book as “required reading” for the study of Argentine religious culture and cosmology as well as for Pentecostal studies. [...] [T]he book is essential for religious and Pentecostal studies."
Roger E. Hedlund, Ph.D., Dharma Deepika January-July 2011, 77.

"Davies has provided the reader with a very welcome contribution to the general study of Pentecostalism, but more importantly she presents a vivid picture of the vibrant and somewhat complex Pentecostal scene in Argentina in a fascinating way. She makes it plausible that (neo-)Pentecostalism is growing in Argentina because it 'corresponds' with popular religion at the same time as it represents something new."
Hans Geir Aasmundsen, Södertön University Stockholm, Sweden, in PentecoStudies

Table of contents


Acknowledgements ... xi
Abbreviations ... xiii
List of Tables and Graphs ... xv
Glossary of Spanish terms used ... xvii

Chapter One. Introduction ... 1
1.1 Statement ... 3
1.2 Terminology ... 4
1.3 Methodological approaches ... 9
1.4 Structure ... 11
1.5 Sources ... 12

Chapter Two. Pentecostalism: Towards an Argentine View ... 15
2.1 Introduction ... 15
2.2 Pentecostalism as a response to modernity /deprivation ... 17
2.3 Pentecostalismas an imported sect ... 25
2.4 Pentecostalismas amarket commodity ... 29
2.5 Pentecostalismas a search for identity ... 31
2.6 Pentecostalismas popular religion ... 35
2.7 Pentecostalism connecting with the substrata of popular religion ... 46
2.8 Argentine evangelical scholarship ... 49
2.9 Summary and evaluation ... 58
2.10 Conclusion ... 61

ChapterThree. Investigating the Fields of the Lord: The Argentine
Religious Field andHistorical Context ... 63
3.1 The changing religious field in Argentina ... 63
3.2 Roman Catholicism ... 67
3.3 Popular religion ... 73
3.4 Protestantism ... 77
3.5 Pentecostalism ... 91
3.6 Protestant consciousness and worldview in Latin America ... 104
3.7 Summary and conclusion ... 105

Chapter Four.The Embattled Community: Cosmology and Related Practices ... 107
4.1 Introduction ... 107
4.2 Field researchmethods ... 108
4.3 The cosmology of popular religion ... 112
4.4 Profile of theMilberg Pentecostal Church ... 118
4.5 Cosmology of theMilberg Pentecostal Church ... 129
4.6 Incorporation ... 165
4.7 Conclusion ... 167

Chapter Five.The Empowered Community: Comparing Popular and Pentecostal Understandings Of Spiritual Power ... 169
5.1 Accessing spiritual power in popular religion ... 169
5.2 Reflections on popular religiosity ... 188
5.3 Accessing spiritual power in the pentecostal church ... 189
5.4 Continuity and discontinuity in popular and pentecostal worldviews ... 204
5.5 Conclusion ... 212

Chapter Six.Missiological Implications for a Gospel of Power ... 213
6.1. Introduction ... 213
6.2 Amodel of evangelical conversion ... 214
6.3 Implications for evangelism ... 215
6.4 Implications for personal conversion ... 220
6.5 Interpreting ‘conversion to the world’ ... 225
6.6 An adequate conversion? ... 227
6.7 Implications for Argentine church growth ... 228
6.8 Conclusion ... 232

Chapter Seven. Argentine Pentecostalism and Global Christianity ... 233

Chapter Eight. Postscript ... 239

Appendices
Appendix One ... 247
Appendix Two ... 271
AppendixThree ... 275
Appendix Four ... 279

English Bibliography ... 287
Spanish Bibliography ... 301

Index ... 315

Readership

Social scientists, theologians and missiologists intested in Pentecostalism, popular and folk reliigon, and theology in Latin America, as well as those interested in developments within global Christianity.

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