Presenter Information

Matthew Shaw, Ball State University

Start Date

20-5-2011

Description

Nascent Pentecostalism was consciously unorganized and eschewed denominational identity, ecclesiastical hierarchy, and even (initially) dogmatic uniformity. As people of the Spirit, the earliest practitioners ostensibly relied upon Paracletic inspiration and spiritual discernment to guide the movement, and treated efforts to organize or even codify “Pentecostalism” with suspicion. In the absence of unified control, the Pentecostal periodical played an important part in the dissemination of the movement’s message and meaning and formed a neural network for the burgeoning movement as many publishers built extensive mailing lists representing a global readership. Without a central church clearinghouse, periodical literature served as the critical mode of communication, offering apologists and adherents some semblance of cohesiveness and prefiguring the formation of some of the earliest Pentecostal organizations. As information vehicles, these papers were seminal in developing theology, ecclesiology, and community among disparate groups of Pentecostal believers around the world.

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May 20th, 12:00 AM

Pentecost in the Postbox: Theology, Ecclesiology, and Community in Early Pentecostal Periodicals

Nascent Pentecostalism was consciously unorganized and eschewed denominational identity, ecclesiastical hierarchy, and even (initially) dogmatic uniformity. As people of the Spirit, the earliest practitioners ostensibly relied upon Paracletic inspiration and spiritual discernment to guide the movement, and treated efforts to organize or even codify “Pentecostalism” with suspicion. In the absence of unified control, the Pentecostal periodical played an important part in the dissemination of the movement’s message and meaning and formed a neural network for the burgeoning movement as many publishers built extensive mailing lists representing a global readership. Without a central church clearinghouse, periodical literature served as the critical mode of communication, offering apologists and adherents some semblance of cohesiveness and prefiguring the formation of some of the earliest Pentecostal organizations. As information vehicles, these papers were seminal in developing theology, ecclesiology, and community among disparate groups of Pentecostal believers around the world.