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Title: The rise and face of neopentecostalism : a descriptive and comparative assessment of new independent Charismatic/Pentecostal Churches in Latin America
Author: Palomino, Miguel Angel
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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This research centres on three main areas. Firstly, there is an analysis of the theories proposed by Fernando Fuenzalida, Christian Parker and Jean-Pierre Bastian, which try to interpret this religious outburst that has re-structured the religious field of Peru, and is also challenging for the first time the hegemony maintained by the Roman Catholic Church in the continent for the last five centuries. Evangelicos, and pentecostals in particular, are a growing sector of Christianity that deserve not to be seen as "sects", a derogatory term still used to refer to them, but as a different expression of the Christian faith in this part ofthe world. Secondly, there is a historical account of the different outpourings ofthe Holy Spirit occurred in the twentieth century which are known as "waves". The "First Wave" took place in Azusa Street, California, in the 1910s, and gave birth to Pentecostalism, regarded alongside Catholicism and Protestantism as the "third force of Christianity". The "Second Wave" or Charismatic Renewal Movement of the late 1950s and 1960s, revitalised some pentecostal churches and spawned organizations in mainline denominations to spread charismatic fires, but it "run out of steam" by the 1970s. Recognizing this draught that had overtaken the charismatic movement. Peter Wagner proclaimed a "Third Wave" of the Spirit taking place in the early 1980s. This time it encompassed churches and persons who were open to the move of the Holy Spirit but who considered themselves as neither pentecostal nor charismatic. While Wagner was particularly referring to his experience with John Wimber's Fuller course "Signs and Wonders", similar phenomenon with supernatural manifestations had been seen in different parts of Latin America. Although these manifestations resembled those of North America, they had their particularities that made them peculiar to the region. The third and final section deals with the theological worldview of neopentecostals. By observing their culto (worship service), issues pertaining to prophets, restoration of the church, revival and "spiritual warfare" are evident. These new fellowships strongly believe in "power encounter" and are determined to fight back the attacks of Satan, who in their view has robbed them their happiness, health and even their material possessions and the possibility for them to become rich. Thus, not only sickness but poverty as well, is attributed to demons of all sorts. This understanding of the unseen is certainly an elaboration of the demonic as traditional pentecostals saw it. While the latter have Satan as the cause of their physical, family and emotional problems, the former are convinced that he is also responsible for the fact that Christians are not the "head" of the world, as the Lord has called them to be, but "the tail". With this in mind, they are now acquiring cinemas, theatres, radio and TV stations, publishing houses, and playing high profile roles in the government and political arena, as in the sports, fashion and entertainment industry. t would be hard to forecast how much longer the neopentecostal movement will be around, but definitely this will depend on the ability of its leaders to consolidate what they have accomplished already. While Pentecostalism has been known as the religion for the poor and charismatism as the renewal of the old-time denominations, neopentecostalism will surely be referred to as the movement that combines biblical allegory with sophisticated technology, reflecting the spirit of the times.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available