In this, the third volume of the groundbreaking Pentecostal Manifestos series, Wolfgang Vondey proposes that Pentecostalism has a crucial role to play in one of Christianity's greatest tasks - the formulation of a global theology.
Beyond Pentacostalism engages the social sciences, psychology, philosophy, and ritual and cultural studies as major dialogue partners as he addresses a postmodern theological crisis facing both the Pentecostal and the broader ecumenical global community. The path forward, he argues, leads not only toward Pentecostal imagination and spirituality but also beyond it. Vondey's goal is not a "pentecostalization" of Christianity but rather a renewal of the theological landscape in light of the significance of Pentecostal voices, thoughts, and practices worldwide.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Christianity faces one of its greatest opportunities, as well as one of its greatest challenges the formulation of a global theology. In Beyond Pentecostalism Wolfgang Vondey argues that Pentecostal thought and praxis represent an indispensable catalyst for the realization of this task.
Accentuating Pentecostalism as a manifestation of what he calls the crisis of global Christianity, Vondey describes the elements of this crisis manifested chiefly in theology’s turn toward a performance-oriented enterprise and suggests that the task of overcoming the crisis demands an integration of Pentecostalism in the global theological agenda. This task will inevitably push Christianity beyond the boundaries of the classical Pentecostal tradition. In fact, Vondey suggests, Pentecostalism itself is in the process of going beyond its own historical, theological, socio-cultural, and institutional boundaries. His ultimate goal is not a pentecostalization” of Christianity but rather a renewal of the theological landscape in light of the significance of Pentecostal voices, thoughts, and practices worldwide.
Wolfgang Vondey is associate professor of systematictheology and director of the Center for Renewal Studies atRegent University School of Divinity, Virginia Beach,Virginia. For more information about this author, visit hiswebsite at WolfgangVondey.info and the RegentUniversity School of Divinity's blog atRenewalDynamics.com.
Vondey brings the spiritual and conceptual resources of the global Pentecostal movement to bear on the crises facing theology in the twenty-first century. The result is an intriguing discussion in which Pentecostalism is transcended and transformed as it helps to enrich a much larger conversation. A must-read for all those interested in how confessional theologies can flourish beyond their limits in service to others without losing their roots.”
Frank D. Macchia
Vanguard University of Southern California
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