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Renewal Ecclesiology in Empirical Perspective

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Recent discussions in ecclesiology have highlighted the difference between abstract models and concrete ethnographic studies. It is all too common for these two different approaches to be self-contained without any interaction between them. In the light of this context, this study considers recent Pentecostal ecclesiology and identifies two strands of thought, namely, ecumenical and retrieval approaches. Both of these approaches are classified as blueprint approaches and neither of them draws upon concrete studies of congregations. In order to address this weakness, and make a constructive proposal, the discussion draws on studies of congregations to provide empirical perspectives with which to engage. The outcome is a recommendation that renewal ecclesiology should be understood as a distinct strand that includes four core features, namely: the location of pneumatology as central rather than peripheral, the importance of relationality, the rediscovery of sacramentality, and the impact of doxology for mission.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom


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