Testimony in the Spirit: Rescripting Ordinary Pentecostal Theology

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Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2010 - Religion - 219 pages
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Mark J. Cartledge has taken David Martin's concept of rescripting which he applies to (in Jeff Astley's language) the `ordinary theology' of a local Pentecostal denomination and has pulled off a remarkable study of interdisciplinary sophistication which is both faithful to Pentecostal self understanding of their lives. yet deeply reflexive sociologically, and reflective theologically. If that were not enough he offers this rescription to Pentecostal practitioners in a spirit of critical engagement. This study is so rich and rounded that I am tempted to throw caution to the wind and say with confidence that this lifts practical theology to a higher level. Testimony in the Spirit is a tour de force. Andrew Walker, Professor of Theology, Culture and Education, King's College London, UK

Finally, a practical theological methodology that ably and adequately closes the loop between the vibrant and widely heralded `Pentecostal spirituality' and the second-level discourse of Pentecostal theology. Cartledge not only writes here in service of the church. but further solidifies his reputation at the vanguard of the increasingly important field of practical theology through his expert translation of Pentecostal experience, that remains quite enigmatic to those outside the movement. Amos Yong, J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology, Regent University School of Divinity, Virginia Beach, USA

This is theological reflection that questions and listens discerningly to a local Pentecostal congregation in the light of a larger theological conversation. The result is a fruitful exchange that provides much needed clarity of thought, not only for Pentecostals, but for everyone interested in understanding how theology can serve the life and mission of the church. Frank D. Macchia, Professor of Christian Theology at Vanguard University, USA

In a lucid and compelling style, Cartledge takes the reader inside the `ordinary theology' of contemporary British Pentecostalism. He raises issues of great importance to leaders of diverse religious communities. while sharing ground-breaking scholarship in Pentecostal/Charismatic studies and Practical Theology Richard Osmer, Thomas W. Synnott Professor of Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary, USA

This book explores the ordinary beliefs and practices of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians in relation to the Holy Spirit. It does this by means of a congregational study of a classical Pentecostal church in the UK, using participant observation, focus groups and documentary and media analysis. This approach develops a framework in which the narratives of informants can be interpreted. Focusing on specific areas of interest, such as worship, conversion, healing and witness, each contribution from respondents is situated within the context of the congregation and interpreted by means of the broader christian tradition.

This book makes a unique contribution to scholarship by offering a rich and varied picture of contemporary Christians in the Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions, enabling a greater understanding to be appreciated for both academic and ecclesial audiences.

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About the author (2010)

Mark J. Cartledge is a practical theologian who has worked in a number of different jobs combining Christian ministry with academic teaching and research. He has been researching Pentecostal and Charismatic christianity for twenty years and is now one of the most established scholars in this field in the UK. He is a member of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. His publications include: (Editor) Speaking in Tongues: Multi-disciplinary Perspectives (2006); Encountering the Spirit: The Charismatic Tradition (2006); Practical Theology: Charismatic and Empirical Perspectives (2003); Charismatic Glossolalia: An Empirical Theological Study (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002).

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