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Charismatic Movement

Paul Freston

Subject Sociology » Social Movements, Sociology of Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Movements usually referred to as “charismatic” developed within Protestant and Catholic Christianity from the mid-twentieth century, and especially the 1960s. Protestant versions are sometimes called “neo-Pentecostalism” and the Catholic movement was initially styled “Catholic Pentecostal,” highlighting connections with the broader Pentecostal movement. Charismatic Christianity is usually considered to include: (1) renewal movements within established denominations; (2) independent charismatic churches and new denominations; and (3) charismatic parachurch organizations. The number of charismatics has steadily risen worldwide, and in 2000 probably represented some 10 percent of the world's Christian population. While there is diversity among charismatics, all stress the importance and current availability of various “charismata” or “gifts of the Holy Spirit” mentioned in the New Testament, especially glossolalia (“speaking in tongues”), prophecy, healing, and other “supernatural” gifts. Often this is framed in terms of a definite experience known as “baptism in the Holy Spirit,” as well as a desire to renew ecclesiastical institutions by recapturing the vibrancy of the early church. The charismatic movement is related phenomenologically to the Pentecostal movement of early twentieth-century Protestantism. There are, however, important differences. While classical Pentecostalism was ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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