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What’s Love Got to Do with It? The Sociology of Godly Love and the Renewal of Modern Pentecostalism †

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This article uses the recent work of sociologist Margaret M. Poloma to argue that developments in the sociology of Pentecostalism have the potential to revitalize a classical Pentecostal movement that can be otherwise understood as languishing. In particular, the social scientific study of benevolent service in various segments of the Pentecostal movement provides the springboard for the argument. After locating the interdisciplinary work of Poloma and her colleagues on godly love within the broader context of social science research in the last half century, this paper will explore its implications for the future and renewal of especially the classical Pentecostal movement, for Pentecostal theology and self-understanding, and for scholarship on Pentecostalism.

Affiliations: 1: Regent University, School of Divinity, 1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464 ayong@regent.edu

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