While many established forms of Christianity have seen significant decline in recent decades, Pentecostals are currently one of the fastest growing religious groups across the world. This book examines the roots, inception, and expansion of Pentecostalism among Italian Americans to demonstrate how Pentecostalism moves so freely through widely varying cultures.
The book begins with a survey of the origins and early shaping forces of Italian American Pentecostalism. It charts its birth among immigrants in Chicago as well as the initial expansion fuelled by the convergence of folk-Catholic, Reformed evangelical, and Holiness sources. The book goes on to explain how internal and external pressures demanded structure, leading to the founding of the Christian Church of North America in 1927. Paralleling this development was the emergence of the Italian District of the Assemblies of God, the Assemblee di Dio in Italia (Assemblies of God in Italy), the Canadian Assemblies of God, and formidable denominations in Brazil and Argentina. In the closing chapters, based on analysis of key theological loci and in lieu of contemporary developments, the future prospects of the movement are laid out and assessed.
This book provides a purview into the religious lives of an underexamined, but culturally significant group in America. As such, it will be of great interest to scholars of Pentecostalism, Religious Studies and Religious History, as well as Migrations Studies and Cultural Studies in America
Table of Contents
List of Figures; List of Tables; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Introduction; PAR Through the Fire: The Historical Contours of Italian American Pentecostalism; 1 "Tongues of Fire": The Roots of Italian Pentecostalism; 2 The Fire Falls in Chicago: The Birth of Italian Pentecostalism; 3 Seeds Sown in Volatile Surroundings: Migrant Contadini and the Early Expansion of Italian Pentecostalism; 4 Italian Pentecostals on Trial: Opposition from Without and Within; 5 Beyond Anti-Organizationalism: Italian Pentecostals, the Christian Church of North American, and Denominational Stability; 6 For Italians "The World Over": Italian Pentecostals and the Assemblies of God; 7 Renewing the Barrios: Italian Pentecostals in the Southern Cone; Photo Essay: Italian American Pentecostals at Home and Abroad; PART II Theological Trajectories of Italian American Pentecostalism; 8 "La promessa dello Spirito Santo": The Baptism, Gifts, and Directives of the Spirit; 9 Mystical Union: Salvation, Atonement, and Healing; 10 Mystical Communion: Worship, Ethics, and Eschatology; 11 Expanding Horizons: Italian Pentecostalism and Contemporary Theology; Conclusion "To the Jew first and also to the Greek"; Epilogue; Bibliography; Appendix A: CCNA "Articles of Faith" (1997); Appendix B: IPCC "We Believe" Statement (1993); Appendix C: Article 12 of the ADI’s "Articles of Faith" (Articoli di fede) Statement (1999); Index
Paul J. Palma is Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministry at Regent University College of Arts and Sciences, USA.