Pentecostalism is the fastest growing religious movement in the world, currently estimated to have at least 500 million adherents. In the movement's early years, most Pentecostal converts lived in relative poverty, yet the rapidly shifting social ecology of Pentecostal Christians includes many middle-class individuals, as well as an increasing number of young adults attracted by the music and vibrant worship of these churches.
The stereotypical view of Pentecostals as "other-worldly" and disengaged from politics and social ministry is also being challenged, as Pentecostals - including many who are committed to working for social and political change - constitute growing minorities in many countries.
Spirit and Power addresses three main questions: Where is Pentecostalism growing globally? Why it is growing? What is its social and political impact? The contributors to this volume include theologians, historians, and social scientists, who bring their diverse disciplinary perspectives to bear on these empirical questions. The essays draw on extensive survey research as well as in-depth ethnographic field methods, with analyses offering diverging and sometimes competing explanations for the growth and impact of Pentecostalism around the world.
Donald E. Miller is Firestone Professor of Religion and executive director of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. He has written or edited nine books, including Global Pentecostalism: The New Face of Christian Social Engagement (with Tetsunao Yamamori).
Kimon H. Sargeant is Vice President, Human Sciences at the John Templeton Foundation, and the author of Seeker Churches: Promoting Traditional Religion in a Non-Traditional Way.
Richard Flory is Associate Research Professor of Sociology and director of research in the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. He is the author of three books, most recently Growing up in America: The Power of Race in the Lives of Teens.
Amazing as it might have seemed a generation ago, we now have to reckon Pentecostal Christianity as one of the most successful and transformative global movements of the twentieth century. Fortunately, the topic has attracted some really first class scholarship, which is amply represented in Spirit and Power. This is a rich and multi-faceted collection of studies. Readable and, often, inspiring.
author of The Next Christendom