African Pentecostalism: An Introduction

Paperback | March 28, 2008

byOgbu Kalu

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Across Africa, Christianity is thriving in all shapes and sizes. But one particular strain of Christianity prospers more than most-Pentecostalism. Pentecostals believe that everyone can personally receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as prophecy or the ability to speak in tongues. InAfrica, this kind of faith, in which the supernatural is a daily presence, is sweeping the continent. Today, about 107 million Africans are Pentecostals-and the numbers continue to rise. In this book, Ogbu Kalu provides the first ever overview of Pentecostalism in Africa. He shows the amazingdiversity of the faith, which flourishes in many different forms in diverse local contexts. While most people believe that Pentecostalism was brought to Africa and imposed on its people by missionaries, Kalu argues emphatically that this is not the case. Throughout the book, he demonstrates thatAfrican Pentecostalism is distinctly African in character, not imported from the West. With an even-handed approach, Kalu presents the religion's many functions in African life. Rather than shying away from controversial issues like the role of money and prosperity in the movement, Kalu describesmalpractice when he sees it. The only book to offer a comprehensive look at African Pentecostalism, this study touches upon the movement's identity, the role of missionaries, media and popular culture, women, ethics, Islam, and immigration. The resulting work will prove invaluable to anyoneinterested in Christianity outside the West.

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Across Africa, Christianity is thriving in all shapes and sizes. But one particular strain of Christianity prospers more than most-Pentecostalism. Pentecostals believe that everyone can personally receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as prophecy or the ability to speak in tongues. InAfrica, this kind of faith, in which the supe...

Ogbu Kalu is Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity and Mission, McCormick Theological Seminary.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:March 28, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195339991

ISBN - 13:9780195339994

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"This masterful work traces the remarkable story of Pentecostal forms of Christianity in Africa. No one knows the turf better than Kalu. His sensitive and critical rendering of the complex fabric of African Christianity is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand contemporaryWorld Christianity. Kalu moves deftly among peoples and cultures to sketch the contours of booming sub-Saharan Pentecostalisms, their indigenous roots, and their connections to the West. A stunning achievement." --Edith Blumhofer, Professor of History, Wheaton College