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Christianity has experienced frequent periods of renewal. It is fair to say that Christian renewal has been both "transtemporal" (reappearing throughout the past two millennia), and "transspatial" (in all regions where the followers of Jesus have spread his message). Recent scholarship has demonstrated that renewal has often been associated with "peoples of the Spirit," despite opposition and marginalization of such groups by the ecclesiastical forces that have resisted enthusiasm in any form. The countless waves of renewal that followed the first century have been punctuated by prophetic voices, together with miracles, signs and wonders, and other evidences of what we now broadly call Pentecostalism.

This volume concentrates on modern Pentecostalism (since 1901), which differs from earlier versions in its scope and influence. Perhaps most surprising to both insiders and outsiders, this branch of Christianity now is second in size to the Roman Catholic Church. In 2000, 27 percent of all Christians (approximately 537 million) were part of the renewal, with classic Pentecostals numbering 66 million, charismatics 176 million, and neocharismatics 295 million. The combined movements are growing at the rate of 9 million per year, with the total at approximately 571 million in mid-2004.

Classic Pentecostals usually mark their origins on 1 January 1901, at Charles Parham's Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, when Agnes Ozman spoke in tongues (glossolalia). We now are aware that this was not the first post-apostolic incidence of such glossolalia. In reality, the real significance of this date was that Pentecostals for the first time linked the "initial physical evidence of Spirit Baptism" with tongues speech. This has remained the common distinctive claimed by most classical Pentecostal denominations.

The Charismatic movement emerged in already existing Christian denominations from 1959 onwards. On 3 October 1960, Dennis Bennett, an Episcopal rector in Van Nuys, California, announced to his congregation that in November 1959 he had been baptized with the Holy Spirit and had spoken in tongues. By the early 1960s people in virtually every major Protestant tradition had similar experiences. In February 1967 the Charismatic movement spread to the Roman Catholic Church, beginning simultaneously at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in Bogota, Columbia. All charismatics emphasize a "life in the Spirit" and the importance of extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, including but not limited to glossolalia, both in private prayer and in public worship.

By far the largest group within modern Pentecostalism is the neocharismatics. This is a catchall category that comprises nearly nineteen thousand independent, indigenous, nondenominational and postdenominational groups that cannot be classified as either classical Pentecostal or charismatic. They share with classical Pentecostals and charismatics a common emphasis on exuberant worship, the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, Pentecostal-like experiences (not Pentecostal terminology), signs and wonders, and power encounters. In virtually every other way, however, they are as diverse as the world's cultures they represent.

The purpose of this volume is to introduce the reader to these vast worldwide Christian renewal movements. Contributors represent both "insider" and "outsider" perspectives. Treatment is necessarily uneven because academic scholarship of classical Pentecostal and Charismatic movements is just now flowering, and the independent and indigenous churches and groups included in the neocharismatic fold have only been episodically studied by social scientists.

The volume contains 135 articles covering four broad topics—Concepts, History and Study of Pentecostalism, Practices and Institutions, and Regional Surveys. The Concepts articles cover particular beliefs, doctrines, or theological approaches central to Pentecostalism. These articles describe and explain the concepts from the viewpoint of Pentecostalism in a way that will be clear to the uninformed reader. The History and Study articles cover paradigms, methods, approaches, or institutions that have been used or involved in the study of Pentecostalism. The Practices and Institutions articles focus on movements or institutions within Pentecostalism, and related movements or institutions, or general sets of practices within Pentecostalism that pertain to the relationship between Pentecostalism and society in general. The Regions articles survey Pentecostalism in a particular geographical area or a nation. The articles are supplemented by dozens of photos and sidebars and an extensive index.

Because it transcends space and culture and is growing so rapidly, especially in the "three-quarters world" the Pentecostal-Charismatic renewal is increasingly difficult to define in traditional terms. To borrow a Durkheimian (1912) expression, it might be more appropriate to call these movements the emerging "collective effervescence" of the Christian world.


I wish to acknowledge David Levinson and his outstanding Berkshire Publishing Group staff for ongoing assistance in the development of this volume. David provided encouragement and necessary guidance, but always allowed me complete freedom in areas of content and emphasis. Staff members Emily Colangelo, Joseph DiStefano, Jessica LaPointe, Courtney Linehan, and Marcy Ross were most helpful in editorial and production coordination. I am grateful as well to Marie-Claire Antoine of Routledge for her encouragement in the early stages of this project. Thanks also to my editorial board, William Wedenoja, Jerry Shepperd, and Martyn Percy, for their wise counsel.

I have benefited from the support of both Missouri State University and Regent University. Special thanks to my colleagues, deans, and staffs in both institutions for their continued assistance. To all contributors, many of whom are former colleagues and students—friends of long standing—I am deeply indebted. Numerous archived were opened to me, most notably the Flower Pentecostal Archives in Springfield, Missouri, where Wayne Warner and Glenn Gohr were always available to answer questions and to provide necessary details. My graduate assistant, Eric Newberg at Regent, has lightened my load on many occasions.

Finally, I thank my wife, Dr. Ruth Vassar Burgess, a scholar in her own right, for providing ideas, and just the appropriate combination of spur and salve needed to complete the Encyclopedia of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity.

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