To the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity  -     By: Allan H. Anderson
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To the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity

Oxford University Press / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

Exploring more than a century of history and ranging across the globe, Allan Anderson's To the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity tells the story of Pentecostalism's spectacular rise to global prominence and how it changed the face of Christianity forever.

No branch of Christianity has grown more rapidly than Pentecostalism, especially in the southern hemisphere. There are over 100 million Pentecostals in in Africa. In Latin America, Pentecostalism now views with Catholicism for the soul of the continent, and some of the largest Pentecostal congregations in the world are in South Korea. But how did this come to be?

To the Ends of the Earth explores the historical and theological factors behind the phenomenal growth of global Pentecostalism. Anderson argues that its spread is so dramatic because it is an "ends of the earth" movement-Pentecostals believe that they are called to be witnesses for Jesus Christ to the furthest reaches of the globe. His wide-ranging account examines such topics as:
  • The Los Angeles Asuza Street Revival
  • The work of the first missionaries in China, India, and Africa
  • Pentecostalism's incredible diversity and deep local roots
  • The central role of women in the movement
Anderson also discusses more recent developments such as the creation of new independent churches, mega churches, and the "health and wealth" gospel, and, lastly, the increasing involvement of Pentecostals in public and political affairs across the globe. Why is this movement so popular? Anderson points to such factors as the emphasis on the Spirit, the "born-again" experience, incessant evangelism, healing and deliverance, cultural flexibility, a place-to-feel-at-home, religious community, an egalitarian community, and meeting material needs-all of which contribute to Pentecostalism's remarkable appeal.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 0195386426
ISBN-13: 9780195386424
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

No branch of Christianity has grown more rapidly than Pentecostalism, especially in the southern hemisphere. There are over 100 million Pentecostals in Africa. In Latin America, Pentecostalism now vies with Catholicism for the soul of the continent, and some of the largest pentecostal congregations in the world are in South Korea.

In To the Ends of the Earth, Allan Heaton Anderson explores the historical and theological factors behind the phenomenal growth of global Pentecostalism. Anderson argues that its spread is so dramatic because it is an "ends of the earth" movement--pentecostals believe that they are called to be witnesses for Jesus Christ to the furthest reaches of the globe. His wide-ranging account examines such topics as the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles, the role of the first missionaries in China, India, and Africa, Pentecostalism's incredible diversity due to its deep local roots, and the central role of women in the movement. He describes more recent developments such as the creation of new independent churches, megachurches, and the "health and wealth" gospel, and he explores the increasing involvement of pentecostals in public and political affairs across the globe. Why is this movement so popular? Anderson points to such features as the emphasis on the Spirit, the "born-again" experience, incessant evangelism, healing and deliverance, cultural flexibility, a place-to-feel-at-home, religious continuity, an egalitarian community, and meeting material needs--all of which contribute to Pentecostalism's remarkable appeal.

Exploring more than a century of history and ranging across most of the globe, Anderson illuminates the spectacular rise of global Pentecostalism and shows how it changed the face of Christianity worldwide.

Author Bio


Allan Heaton Anderson is Professor of Global Pentecostal Studies at the University of Birmingham. He was a full-time Pentecostal minister with over two decades of activism in Southern African Pentecostalism. His books include Studying Global Pentecostalism, Spreading Fires: The Missionary Nature of Early Pentecostalism, and An Introduction to Pentecostalism.

Publishers Weekly

A professor at the University of Birmingham offers a comprehensive historical assessment of the phenomenal rise of global Pentecostalism. A former Pentecostal minister, Anderson nonetheless gives a fair and at times critical assessment of a movement that began little more than a hundred years ago and has since grown to include more than 600 million adherents. His inclusive definition of Pentecostals as those who emphasize “an ecstatic experience of the Spirit and a tangible practice of spiritual gifts” makes room for Charismatics and members of independent churches. Unlike other historians, he argues the Azusa Street Revival may not have been the first, and points to contemporaneous revivals in India and Korea that shared many Pentecostal characteristics. The book mentions a dizzying number of historical figures. Overall, it offers a judicious assessment of a movement that emphasizes healing, miracles, and evangelism “to the ends of the earth,” while raising leaders who have at times lagged in education or training and promulgated controversial “prosperity theology” teachings and flamboyant lifestyles. (Feb.) 2012 Reed Business Information

Editorial Reviews


"Numerous books have addressed the subject of global pentecostal growth in recent years. Allan Anderson's is uniquely valuable because it manages, in a concise and easily readable narrative, to trace a truly global history of pentecostalism's origins, characteristic features, and local variations . To the Ends of the Earth will interest a wide variety of readers including instructors and students (undergraduate as well as graduate) in courses on world religions, introductions to Christianity, and globalization. Overall, this is an excellent volume that should be of great use to many readers who want to understand the causes and implications of pentecostalism's global expansion." --Journal of Religion


"As it encourages readers towards a global perspective, the book will benefit several audiences.... To the Ends of the Earth could serve as a text for either undergraduate or graduate courses on global Pentecostal history or theology." --Encounter: Journal for Pentecostal Ministry


"Worldwide, Pentecostal Christianity may be the greatest success story of the past century, and the movement continues to grow mightily in numbers. How very valuable, then, to have such an ambitious and user-friendly guide to this global expansion, written by one of the greatest scholars of the phenomenon. To the Ends of the Earth is a really excellent book, which somehow manages to remain judicious and critical in the face of the amazing spiritual explosion it depicts."--Philip Jenkins, Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University


"Given the importance of Pentecostal and charismatic forms of faith in Christian expansion worldwide, Anderson s book is valuable and timely. He integrates historical and theological discussion into a remarkably concise account with an impressive global sweep and is properly critical of his subject where appropriate." --The Christian Century


"An intriguing, well-documented, and thoroughly researched book... In this highly readable, flowing narrative, Anderson's writing is engaging and insightful... lively and lucid."--CHOICE


"[A] sweeping historical survey . . . gives a sympathetic and insightful explanation of how all these diverse traditions have found their way onto the global stage." --Christianity Today


"[A} story is told with admirable clarity and detail." --The Economist


"Today, more than 100 million Africans belong to Pentecostal churches, making Anderson's book essential reading for anyone interested in the sociology of contemporary Africa."
--Foreign Affairs


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