Pentecostalism as a theological tradition: an ideological, historical, and institutional critique

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The concern for a theological tradition among Pentecostals responds to pressing questions of the recognition, invention, and rejection of tradition in late-modern society and religion. Tradition, to put it succinctly, is a concern not for the past but for the future of Pentecostalism. This essay critically examines the challenges of designating Pentecostal theology as a global tradition by asking what theological elements constitute Pentecostalism as a tradition, what are the dominant theological patterns of its reenactment, and how do these constructs aid or resist the formation of Pentecostal theology in the future. The quest for answers follows the five essential patterns of tradition proposed by Anthony Giddens: collective memory, ritual expression, a formulaic conception of truth, guardians of the tradition, and its normative content. The results form an ideological, historical, and institutional critique of Pentecostalism and its existential challenges as a theological tradition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-535
Number of pages15
JournalPneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2020


  • tradition
  • truth
  • memory
  • ritual
  • ideology
  • doctrine


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