A Liberating Spirit

A Liberating Spirit

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Overview

The historical ambivalence among Pentecostals about their relationship to culture and society needs evaluation. How do we understand Pentecostal engagement with society, and how are Pentecostals in North America engaging issues of race, class, gender, and ecology? What theologically motivates North American Pentecostals to respond to social issues? What categories best explain Pentecostal responses to social issues in North America? How do they compare to Pentecostal responses elsewhere?

Recently, scholars of global Pentecostalism have proposed that the experience of the Spirit among Pentecostals has elicited the development of a Pentecostal ""theology of liberation,"" which has implications for understanding Pentecostal responses to social issues. These projects primarily explore the Pentecostal response to cultural issues in areas outside of North America and especially focus on Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

This volume assesses whether the categories of social liberation applied to non-Western Pentecostalism characterize Pentecostalism in North America. Is there evidence of a Pentecostal ""theology of liberation"" that explains Pentecostal engagement in North America? Do social-liberation categories fit the North American Pentecostal responses to social issues or are others more suitable? These and other important questions about the relation between liberation theology and North American Pentecostalism are thoroughly explored in this important collection of essays.


""This significant collection of essays by theologians and social scientists addresses an important but understudied topic: the relationship between Pentecostalism and social action. By going beyond surface images and simple dichotomies (e.g., 'liberal' and 'conservative'), the contributors demonstrate that contradictory forces in Pentecostalism have both constrained and liberated. More importantly, they point the way toward a more socially engaged future. Anyone with an interest in social justice or Pentecostalism should read this book.""
--Matthew Lee
University of Akron

""This is an important, thought-provoking, and timely collection with an array of burning issues in today's world that are seldom discussed in Pentecostal academia. It is one of those paradigm-changing publications that should be read widely.""
--Allan Anderson
University of Birmingham, UK

""This book can be seen as a manifesto for a progressive North American Pentecostalism that connects the freedom of the Holy Spirit granted at Pentecost with social liberation and renewal. One finds a number of essays here that break through deprivation theories and assumptions concerning the inherently otherworldly nature of Pentecostalism to uncover another, much more liberating direction to the movement. This book is a must read for theologians, social scientists, religious historians, and anyone interested in the social witness of the churches.""
--Frank D. Macchia
Vanguard University of Southern California


Michael Wilkinson is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Religion in Canada Institute at Trinity Western University. His is the author of The Spirit Said Go (2006) and the editor of Canadian Pentecostalism (2009).

Steven M. Studebaker is Assistant Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at McMaster Divinity College. He is the editor of Defining Issues in Pentecostal Theology (Pickwick, 2008).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608992836
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 09/13/2010
Series: Pentecostals, Peacemaking, and Social Justice Series
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Michael Wilkinson is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Religion in Canada Institute at Trinity Western University. His is the author of The Spirit Said Go (2006) and the editor of Canadian Pentecostalism (2009).

Steven M. Studebaker is Assistant Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at McMaster Divinity College. He is the editor of Defining Issues in Pentecostal Theology (Pickwick, 2008).

Table of Contents

Series Preface vii

List of Contributors ix

Acknowledgments xiii

1 Pentecostal Social Action: An Introduction Michael Wilkinson Steven M. Studebaker 1

Part 1 Issues of Race and Ethnicity

2 Recovering Black Theological Thought in the Writings of Early African-American Holiness-Pentecostal Leaders: Liberation Motifs in Early African-American Pentecostalism Estrelda Alexander 23

3 The Rhetoric of Pentecostal Racial Reconciliation: Looking Back To Move Forward Derrick R. Rosenior 53

4 Pentecostalism among Canadian Aboriginal People: A Political Movement" Clinton N. Westman 85

Part 2 Issues of Class

5 Waxing and Waning of Social Deprivation as a Model for Understanding the Class Composition of Early American Pentecostalism: A Theological Assessment Peter Althouse 113

6 Re-Visioning the Disinherited: Pentecostals and Social Class in North America Adam Stewart 136

Part 3 Issues of Gender

7 Your Daughters Shall Prophesy (As Long as They Submit): Pentecostalism and Gender in Global Perspective Andrea Hollingsworth Melissa D. Browning 161

8 Acts 29 and Authority: Towards a Pentecostal Feminist Hermeneutic of Liberation Pamela M. S. Holmes 185

Part 4 Issues of Ecology

9 Globalization and the Environment as Social Problem: Assessing a Pentecostal Response Michael Wilkinson 213

10 Looking the Wrong Way: Salvation and the Spirit in Pentecostal Eco-Theology A. J. Swoboda 231

11 Creation Care as "Keeping in Step with the Spirit" Steven M. Studebaker 248

Name Index 265

Subject Index 271

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