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Title: Making the rulers tremble! : a sociological study of Morris Cerullo World Evangelism in Britain
Author: Schaefer, N. A.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1999
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Morris Cerullo World Evangelism (MCWE) is an American Pentecostal religious corporation currently operating in Britain. This study focuses on healing revivalist Morris Cerullo and his ministry's reception in the UK. The leading questions consider the origins and basic sociological characteristics of MCWE and the reasons why a white-led Pentecostal movement organisation hailing from the US, in Britain appeals mostly to African-Caribbeans. The progenitors of ministries such as MCWE may be traced back to the nineteenth-century revivalists and the distinctive revival institution that emerged as a result of transatlantic religious exchanges between the US and Britain. Pentecostalism, which originated at the turn of the last century, developed simultaneously in the US, Britain, and the Caribbean; the divergent strands partly explain MCWE's differentiated UK reception. A thaumaturge, Morris Cerullo converted from Judaism to Pentecostal Christianity, and begun his career as part of the post-World War II healing revival movement in America. He established MCWE, a conversionist sectarian organisation, in San Diego, California. MCWE's organisational structure and Cerullo's management style fit Weber's charismatic leadership type. MCWE's mobilisation strategies for its Mission to London (MTL) meetings are the main mechanism for recruitment and retention of members, and derive from the revival industry generally. An in-depth analysis reveals that Cerullo has borrowed from a black cultural repertoire, most apparent in his preaching and healing rites, and in the musical performance styles at MTL meetings. The reasons for Cerullo's appeal among the black churches involve MCWE's religious forms and ecstatic worship style, its message of empowerment, prosperity and health; and most importantly, its social roles regarding group identity and community, status and social mobility. Moreover, MTL meetings offer free space for the mediation and celebration of a collective cultural identity among the African-Caribbean participants. Its is paradoxical that Cerullo's white-led meetings serve as an extension of a black communal identity in Britain.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available