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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versão On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versão impressa ISSN 1017-0499

Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.35 no.2 Pretoria Out. 2009


Towards a postcolonial Pentecostal historiography: Ramblings from the south



Irvin G Chetty

Coordinator: Department of New Testament and Practical Theology, Centre for Theology and Religion, University of Fort Hare, Alice, Eastern Cape




This article focuses on contestations around the birth of Pentecostalism. Azusa Street Pentecostalism is very well documented therefore the bias was tilted in its favour. While this expression of Pentecostalism opened up new frontiers it also displayed some regrettable retreats around the issue of race relations. In stark contrast, both in South Africa and in Brazil, inter alia, societal concerns, inclusive of racial issues have been taken up by a new breed of Pentecostals. The current state of Pentecostalism reveals that the majority of Pentecostals live outside of the USA and Canada and that the rapidly emerging churches in the southern world are Pentecostal and indigenous, and function autonomously from Western Pentecostalism. Starting from the eighties, large independent Pentecostal churches have emerged in Africa. African Pentecostalism in South Africa is a relevant, flexible and rapidly increasing Christian formation. Unlike the dualistic tendencies of Western Christian approaches, the African Pentecostal worldview does not separate the physical from the spiritual or the individual from the social. Los Angeles cannot be viewed as the "Jerusalem" from which the "full gospel" imperialistically emanated centrifugally to the world. Other equally significant and simultaneous Pentecostal outpourings have been overlooked. Pentecostalism historiography may have to engage in perhaps one of the most important postcolonial ecclesiastical reconstructions yet.



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