Introduction: Pentecostalism and the Globalization of Illness and Healing

Candy Gunther Brown

in Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780195393408
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894390 | DOI:
Introduction: Pentecostalism and the Globalization of Illness and Healing

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The introduction explains why an edited volume, with contributed essays crafted around common questions, best describes divine healing practices and facilitates cross-cultural comparisons. Key terms are defined: Pentecostal, Charismatic, divine healing, deliverance, globalization. Globalization fuels pentecostal healing by heightening disease threat. Perceived as embodying “Godly Love,” healing experiences are socially empowering motivators of increased benevolence, although spiritualizing suffering obscures systemic causes of oppression and injustice. The introduction argues that “syncretism” and “shamanism” are inadequate descriptors of inculturation and indigenization, building on Miroslav Volf’s concept of “material salvation.” Seven themes are identified: 1) centrality of divine healing, 2) communal empowerment of laity and liberation theology, 3) relationship between “health-and-wealth” more complex than “Prosperity gospel,” 4) emphasis on deliverance from demons, 5) competition with traditional religions in meeting practical needs, 6) appropriations of modern communication and travel technologies, 7) multi-directional cultural flows, nuanced interpretations of missions, and post-colonial theories.

Keywords: practices; Godly Love; syncretism; shamanism; material salvation; liberation theology; health-and-wealth; Prosperity gospel; missions; post-colonial theories

Chapter.  11491 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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