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Afro-PentecostalismBlack Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity in History and Culture$

Amos Yong and Estrelda Y. Alexander

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814797303

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814797303.001.0001

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(p.139) III Prophetic Ethics

(p.139) III Prophetic Ethics

NYU Press

The ongoing struggle for black Pentecostals to find a prophetic, public voice has been largely ignored by most scholars of the movement. Indeed, the reductionist assumption that black Pentecostalism is largely an ecstatic, other worldly escape from social reality has precluded serious consideration of the wealth of ethical discourse found among black Pentecostal scholars and even church leaders. Indeed, discussions of the prophetic and social witness of Afro-Pentecostalism are often obscured by presuming that such is either absent or can be easily subsumed (although often marginalized) within categories of the black church tradition. The two essays in this section provide a glimpse into the thought of two ethicists formed both by the experience of blackness within American society and involvement in the African American Holiness-Pentecostal community. Both essays provide sharp self-critique of ethical shortcomings of some factions of Pentecostal-Charismatic culture both within and outside the black church while suggesting a way forward to a more holistic Pentecostal ethic. While in various respects the prophetic stream within Afro-Pentecostalism can be understood as part of the larger black church response to racism, the essays in this section not only unveil common concerns within the black Christianity (Sanders’s focus on the prosperity gospel) but also the need for a prophetic Afro-Pentecostal stance vis-à-vis the dominant white Pentecostal traditions (Lovett’s autobiographical reflections). (p.140)