The impact of culture and social justice on Christian formation in Pentecostalism

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The essay contrasts two distinct ways of Pentecostal formation: (1) social activism and (2) social passivism. The former identifies Christian formation as participation and leadership in the struggle against poverty, deprivation, and oppression; the latter withdraws into a sectarian mindset of individualism, self-improvement, and triumphalism. A focus on Asia, Africa, Latin America, and North America brings the two accounts into dialogue on the identity of contemporary Pentecostal formation. The results suggest that Christian formation among Pentecostals is confronted with significant diversity
influenced by cultural and socioeconomic factors. Johns’ classic study of
Pentecostal formation and its emphasis on conscientization leading to redemptive participation in the struggle among the oppressed demands further attention. This essay shows that conscientization among Pentecostals is not only a psychological and sociocritical form of assessment but a personal and communal coming to consciousness subject to long-term cultural influences and sociohistorical developments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-216
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Pentecostal Theology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • christian formation
  • culture
  • social justice
  • activism
  • triumphalism
  • prosperity gospel
  • global Pentecostalism


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