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Pietism and Pentecostalism: Spiritual Cousins or Competitors?

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Abstract Scholars of Pentecostalism typically trace the movement’s roots to the Wesleyan-Holiness movement and the healing revivals of the nineteenth century. Often overlooked is the influence of Pietism on early Pentecostalism. Pietism began as a spiritual renewal movement among Lutherans in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Germany, but its ethos of unmediated spiritual experience of God filtered into the stream of European and North American evangelical Christianity. Outbreaks of speaking in tongues and other ecstatic experiences happened among Scandinavian Pietist immigrants in Chicago and the upper Midwest of North America several years before the birth of Pentecostalism in Topeka and at Azusa Street in the first decade of the twentieth century. Pietists and Pentecostals are spiritual cousins who can learn from each other.

Affiliations: 1: George W. Truett Theological Seminary Baylor University Waco, Texas 76798


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