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Amsterdam GloPent Conference Report

The second international conference of the “European Research Network on Global Pentecostalism” (GloPent) was hosted in Amsterdam on 27 and 28 April, 2007. This conference was titled “The Interdisciplinary Study of Global Pentecostalism” and is one of three in a series of workshops aimed at producing a study guide to global Pentecostalism.

Stephen HuntStephen Hunt

The keynote contributors from theology, cultural anthropology, sociology, and psychology presented problem-centred introductions to the study of Pentecostalism in their respective fields, and pointed to new developments in their disciplines.

Prof Allan Anderson (University of Birmingham) considered paradigms in mission studies and how these paradigms influence the study of Pentecostal missions. Concluding that the objectives and aims of any study of Pentecostalism mission must be clearly outlined beforehand, Anderson determined some of the most important parameters to be defined in the study of Pentecostal missions.

Prof Amos Yong (Regent University) reflected on the debate of theology of religions, outlining and criticizing the predominant typology of exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism. Presenting the contours of an emerging pneumatological paradigm, he suggest how a Pentecostal approach to the interreligious encounter might move beyond this typology, enrich Christian beliefs about the religions, and invigorate a more hospitable form of practices related to people of other faiths.

Prof Joel Robbins (University of California) disentangled the elaborately interdisciplinary discourse of Pentecostal studies to determine what contributions to it have been made by distinctly anthropological threads. He pointed to three areas where such contributions had been made: studying Pentecostalism as a distinct cultural process, understanding Pentecostalism as a lived religion, and examining the relationship of Pentecostalism to modernity.

Birgit MeyerBirgit Meyer

Prof Stephen Hunt (University of the West of England) considered the virtues of ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ perspectives in discussing the contribution of sociology to the study of both ‘classical’ and ‘neo’ Pentecostalism. In doing so, he explored several themes: the origins of Pentecostalism in the USA and Europe, the relationship between Pentecostalism and modernization, the rise of neo-Pentecostalism, routinization and revivalism, Pentecostalism and politics, gender dimensions in Pentecostalism, black Pentecostalism, and more.

Dr. Stefan Huber (Kompetenzzentrum Orient-Okzident Mainz) discussed psychological research on Pentecostalism, confronting the earlier psychopathological frameworks of such studies with newer research based on general psychological categories. On the basis of Glock's multidimensional model of religiosity, recent psychological studies on Pentecostal piety were reviewed with regard to their indications of the inner structures and dynamics of personal religious systems of Pentecostals.

These presentations were complemented with responses by Prof Cornelis van der Laan (Free University of Amsterdam), Prof Michael Bergunder (University of Heidelberg), Prof Birgit Meyer (Free University of Amsterdam), Prof Hijme Stoffels (Free University of Amsterdam), and Dr Mark Cartledge (University of Birmingham), as well as the ensuing discussions.

In addition, six current projects by PhD and post-doctoral researchers from Amsterdam, Basel, Birmingham and Heidelberg were presented:

Andre DroogersAndré Droogers

  • “The Use of Media Technology in Transnational Pentecostalism: The Case of Yoido Full Gospel Church's Development in Japan” (Ikuya Noguchi, Free University of Amsterdam),
  • “Digging Beneath Azusa Street: The Contribution of Joseph
 Smale within Pentecostal Historiography” (Timothy Welch, University of Birmingham),
  • “The Pedagogy of Conversion. Religious Formation in Chilean Pentecostal Churches” (Daniel Frei, Basel),
  • “Pentecostal Passion Paradigm: The (In)Visible Framing of Gibson's Christ in a Dutch Pentecostal church” (Miranda Klaver, Free University of Amsterdam),
  • “Inculturation
 and the Christ Apostolic Church in Nigeria” (Michaiah Olaniyi, University of Birmingham), and
  • “Pentecostal Youth in a South German City” (Claudia Hesse-Böhme, University of Heidelberg).
The academically challenging presentations and discussions, the multidisciplinary focus, and the many opportunities for exchange between researchers made this conference a beneficial event to the GloPent research network. We thank our host Prof André Droogers and his staff for the smooth organization of this workshop. The next GloPent conference will take place in Heidelberg on 1 and 2 February, 2008.
last modified 2007-05-09 13:05