A New Field?
This introductory chapter examines the varied dimensions of the anthropological study of Pentecostalism and evangelicalism (P/e). It looks into a brief history of the anthropology of P/e as a growing field of study, tracing the “coming of age” of this subfield and how it occurred. In addition, the chapter explores the reasons why an ethnographer—however secular—might have taken up interest in an anthropological study of P/e, thus paving the way for a discussion on the vast potential of an anthropology of P/e for social scientific study due to its conjoining of the academic, cultural, and P/e worlds. Given the scope of the subject at hand, the chapter thus sets out the specific definitions of P/e to be undertaken in this volume, and elucidates further into the vast spectrum of an anthropology of P/e.
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