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Like A Mighty Rushing Wind: Innovation And The Transnational Character Of Pentecostalism

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Chapter Summary

Among the many metaphors used to describe the Pentecostal movement wind is especially insightful. The 'Acts of the Apostles' is an important biblical reference for Pentecostals. There are three important ideas that shape this chapter. They are religious innovation, transnationalism, and Spirit. Religious innovation generally refers to any change in religious beliefs or practices resulting in a new development, usually in tension with the previous group, society at large, or other religious groups. Sociological literature has dealt with innovation and the formation of new religious groups in specific ways. The idea of innovation is highly insightful for understanding Pentecostalism as a new religious culture which spreads across North America and throughout the world. From a biblical perspective, Spirit is oft en associated with the elemental forces, in which the Hebrew word ruach has the etymological root meaning of wind, breath, and life.

Keywords: Pentecostal movement; religious innovation; transnational character

10.1163/ej.9789004185746.i-293.6
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