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Title:"Missionary tongues:" the origins and intersections of Pentecostalism in West Africa and North America
Author(s):Tatman, Dallas C
Advisor(s):Ebel, Jonathan H.
Contributor(s):Barro, Maimouma A; Layton, Richard A.
Department / Program:Religion
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Although Pentecostals may claim common origins in the first-century Church, the modern origins of Pentecostalism in West Africa and North America were established independently. These modern origins developed without direct contact with each other, but were heavily influenced by temporal and spatial interactions between local beliefs and other Christian traditions. Those Christian traditions cultivated understandings of common Pentecostal beliefs in unique contexts framed by distinct geographical and cultural interactions. West African and North American Pentecostals evangelized effectively, carrying their interpretation of Christianity to people on both continents. Outsiders often mark Pentecostalism by observable practices rooted in Pentecostal theology and cosmology. Pentecostals themselves acknowledge these markers, but use them not only to identify denominational belief, but to self-identify based on modes of physical and spiritual baptism experiences. Aspects such as glossolalia, healing, evangelism, and the role of the supernatural in the natural world were translated in different contexts in West Africa and North America, but were pragmatically applied in a way that is undeniably Pentecostal. North American missionaries from Azuza Street are often credited with spreading Pentecostal revival throughout the earth; however two facts discredit that theory. Firstly, foreign missionary contact was an important part of the origin of Pentecostalism in West Africa, but very few of those missionaries were associated directly with the Azuza Street phenomenon. Secondly, it is evident that Pentecostalism spread most effectively in West Africa, not through direct foreign missionary contact, but through vernacular translation carried out by Africans.
Issue Date:2016-06-28
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Dallas Tatman
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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