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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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Structure and Charisma

Structure and Charisma

Doctrine, Power, and Administration

(p.79) 4 Structure and Charisma
The Assemblies of God

Margaret M. Poloma

John C. Green

NYU Press

This chapter considers the remaining three dilemmas of O'Dea—dilemmas of delimitation, of power, and of administrative order—to examine the structural dilemmas faced by the Assemblies of God (AG) as it tries to maintain an efficient organization and its distinct worldview. The dilemma of delimitation addresses the threat to charisma posed by the relativizing of the original religious message in relation to new conditions. The dilemma of power focuses on the need to accommodate to the larger culture. The dilemma of administrative order deals with the AG's increasingly complex bureaucratic structure. The chapter concludes that “the mystical is more than a memory,” but whether the AG can continue to surf the tension between charisma and structure is open to further assessment.

Keywords:   Assemblies of God, Pentecostalism, religious experiences, charisma, Thomas O'Dea, delimitation, power, administrative order

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