Essentialist and Normative Approaches

Allan Anderson, Michael Bergunder, André Droogers and Cornelis van der Laan

in Studying Global Pentecostalism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780520266612
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947504 | DOI:
Essentialist and Normative Approaches

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This chapter discusses the role of essentialist and normative elements in the study of Pentecostalism. In studying Pentecostalism, essentialist and normative tendencies stem from the identity of Pentecostalism itself and from its perception by others. Any scholar studying this form of Christianity must therefore reflect on them, especially when interdisciplinary work is proposed. The overview given in this chapter serves to raise scholarly awareness of the pitfalls connected with essentialist and normative approaches. Yet, both essentialist and normative tendencies can be shown to have a challenging, useful side as well, and so essentialist and normative elements cannot be avoided in the study of Pentecostalism. The chapter provides a short checklist that is meant to make scholars aware of the options available.

Keywords: essentialist approach; normative approach; Pentecostalism; Christianity; scholarly research

Chapter.  9884 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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