Vision of the Disinherited

Vision of the Disinherited : Making of American Pentecostalism

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Traces the recent increased interest in the Pentecostal movement and its three main doctrinal camps, and examines their beliefs and practices, including speaking in tonguesshow more

Product details

  • Hardback | 346 pages
  • 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 716.68g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 5tabs.
  • 0195025024
  • 9780195025026

Review Text

Splendid scholarly history. American Pentecostalism currently numbers over two million followers, belonging to some 150 separate churches, not to mention the countless other Christians who have lately adopted Pentecostal practices without leaving their denominations. But even as the movement gains in general acceptance and middle-class respectability, the facts of its grimy, poverty-stricken origins seem to be slipping into oblivion, and Anderson (professor of history at Wagner College) has done a fine job of weaving them together into an absorbing and highly ironic story. Practically everyone agrees that Pentecostalism first appeared on the scene in 1906, at a Los Angeles revival where speaking in tongues (glossolalia) came to be recognized as the sign of a second Pentecost. Anderson delves into the background and recounts the adventures of this critical first generation of Pentecostalists, traces their roots back through the Wesleyan Holiness movement all the way to the primitive Church, and then chronicles the bewildering pattern of schisms that split the group from the very start. The great irony of Pentecostalism is that it provided spiritual asylum for the "disinherited" (uprooted farmers, unskilled workers, and other desperate proletarians), but, instead of marshaling their energies against the forces of oppression, it transformed them into stalwart, reactionary supporters of the status quo. Anderson describes this fascinating process with more charts and statistics than the general reader will think necessary. He frequently skimps on biographical detail (e.g., the homosexual career of the "founder" of Pentecostalism, Charles F. Parham) in favor of discussions of doctrinal squabbles. But his book is rich in theological and political insight - a major contribution. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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