Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the Twenty-First Century

Harvey Cox, Author
Harvey Cox, Author Addison Wesley Publishing Company $24 (346p) ISBN 978-0-201-62656-8
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-201-48931-6
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-306-81049-7
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Pentecostal Christianity, which emphasizes the immediate experience of God through speaking in tongues, trance and ecstatic bodily motion, is not a backward-looking movement, declares Harvard theologian Cox (The Secular City), but an ecumenical force that speaks to the spiritual emptiness of our time by tapping the core of human religiousness. The author describes his visits to Pentecostal churches from Boston to Rio de Janeiro to Seoul. He delineates the movement's interracial beginnings in Los Angeles at the turn of the century, tracks its lightning spread around the globe and explores the pivotal role of women, which led, he asserts, to a conception of a nonjudgmental God with ``distinctively feminine'' qualities, making Pentecostalism a force challenging patriarchal cultures around the world. Cox expresses his misgivings about ``unattractive political and theological currents'' in the U.S. Pentecostal movement, including a fixation on demonic spirits and a ``dominion theology'' that supports ultraconservative public policy. An engrossing and illuminating report. (Oct.)
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