Social justice

Theology as social transformation

Authored by: Cheryl J. Sanders

The Routledge Handbook of Pentecostal Theology

Print publication date:  April  2020
Online publication date:  March  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138580893
eBook ISBN: 9780429507076
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter provides an analysis of the evangelical, liberation, and prosperity theologies that are prevalent in Pentecostal churches. Then follows a description of how William Seymour’s social vision of unity, equality, and love shaped the social ethics of black Pentecostal leaders such as C.H. Mason, Ida B. Robinson, Lillian Brooks Coffey, Smallwood E. Williams, Arthur Brazier, Herbert Daughtry, and James Forbes. The radically inclusive ethics practiced and promoted at the Azusa Street mission and revival brought people together for Spirit-led worship without regard for the rigid social barriers of race, sex, and class. Frederick Ware’s typology of Pentecostal social engagement in the public square highlights the impact of Christian realism, idealism, reconstructionism, and communitarianism. Pentecostal churches remain challenged to affirm the diverse pneumatology and ecclesiology depicted in Acts 2 and to "sanctify the world" via active networks of social engagement and public witness.

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