The Theological Roots of Pentecostalism / Edition 1

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Pentecostalism is one of the most dynamic forces in the church renewal movement. From fast-growing denominations such as the Assemblies of God to popular television ministries, the fruits of Pentecostalism are to be seen throughout twentieth-century American Christianity. In this controversial study, Dayton explains how Pentecostalism grew out of Methodism and the nineteenth-century American holiness movement. He finds evidence of Wesleyan teaching in the classic writings of many Pentecostal leaders. He shows how Pentecostalism is deeply rooted in the Wesleyan theological tradition, rather than being a contrived system of modern revivalist ideas. Dayton also cites evidence that Wesleyan thinkers have tried to reorient their teachings in order to put ideological "distance" between themselves and the Pentecostal movement. The study is based on little-known original sources that shed light on a number of related themes in the study of American religion and offers new perspectives on the development of 19th-century millennialism, the rise and fall of reform movements, the emergence of the healing movement, and the evolution of evangelical religion in the nineteenth century. Martin E. Marty says that Pentecostals "have no choice, it is clear from this book, but to see that there were...roots to the growth they reaped." He calls "Theological Roots of Pentecostalism" "a very important statement, one without which subsequent commentators on Pentecostalism are not likely to give intelligent accounts."

Author Biography: Donald W. Dayton (Yale Divinity School; Ph.D., University of Chicago), is a professor of theology and ethics at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, IL. Hisearlier books include "The American Holiness Movement: A Bibliographic Introduction "and "Discovering an Evangelical Heritage". Many of the sources for this book have been reprinted in "The Higher Christian Life" under his editorship. He is active in a number of professional societies and recently became president-elect of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. He co-edits Scarecrow's "Studies in Evangelicism" series with Kenneth E. Rowe.

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Editorial Reviews

Church History
...the clearest of distillations. But what shines through the most is his fairness...his contribution to Pentecostal studies is a 'blessing;' but its value for evangelical historiography is a 'second blessing.'
ADRIS Newsletter
...An illuminating piece of work that concludes with a highly valuable and extensive bibliographical essay and with three indexes...
Theology Today
...A much needed tool. He makes it possible for us to see Pentecostals, so often dismissed as a fringe group, as intimately connected with the so-called mainstream of American religion.
Ecumenical Review
...magisterial...should become the standard work on the theological matrix of Pentecostal self-understanding.
In applying the methods of historical theology to a movement that has rarely been approached in this manner, the author breaks new ground and suggests a closer relationship of Pentecostalism to Reformed and Wesleyan Protestantism than has sometimes been recognized...Very helpful to scholars and a useful addition to undergraduate and graduate collections of American religious, intellectual, and social history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810820371
  • Publisher: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/1992
  • Series: Studies in Evangelicalism Series , #5
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 201
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald W. Dayton is professor of theology and ethics at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago.
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