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The Assemblies of GodGodly Love and the Revitalization of American Pentecostalism$
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Margaret M. Poloma and John C. Green

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814767832

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814767832.001.0001

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Charisma and Structure in the Assemblies of God

Charisma and Structure in the Assemblies of God

Theoretical Overview

(p.45) 2 Charisma and Structure in the Assemblies of God
The Assemblies of God

Margaret M. Poloma

John C. Green

NYU Press

This chapter outlines the major theoretical guideposts used to frame the presentation of empirical data. It introduces sociologist Thomas O'Dea's theory concerning the development of charisma and his positing of five institutional dilemmas to its maintenance. This theory has been modified to contribute to the present account of revitalization in the American Assemblies of God (AG). The chapter posits that what the brilliant but little-known sociologist Pitirim Sorokin has called “love energy” is driving the revitalization process in a theoretical model of Godly Love. Recognizing that emergent institutional forces tend to stifle charisma, this model suggests that charisma can be revitalized by perceived experiences of divine love, which in turn energize acts of human love. The chapter also employs the work of philosopher Rolf Johnson on the “faces of love” to refine the concept of love and its relationship to the charismatic gifts and Spirit baptism (often called the “baptism of love”) that are the hallmarks of pentecostalism.

Keywords:   Thomas O'Dea, charisma, Assemblies of God, love energy, Godly Love, Rolf Johnson, Pentecostalism, Pitirim Sorokin

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