Rather than replacing one litmus test (glossolalia or Prosperity) with another (healing), these essays generate and set the agenda for a new program of scholarly inquiry into some of the most powerful, interrelated forces of change reshaping today’s world: pentecostalism, healing, globalization. Thick description lays a foundation for more powerful theory. The terms hybridity, synthesis, inculturation, indigenization, and contextualization, better than syncretism or shamanism, capture pentecostals’ flexible relationships with cultural traditions like curanderismo, hoodoo, spiritualism, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, biomedicine. Pentecostals cultivate immediate, tangible, yet technologically mediated, relationships with God, given an epistemology that feeling God’s touch is believing. Although unduly individualizing systemic oppression, material salvation for bodies and souls facilitates empowerment and liberation. Mobility, and corollaries growth, experience, power, spacialization, are better terms than missions for explaining pentecostal distinctiveness. Multi-directional cultural flows nuance postcolonial theories about missionaries. Globalization counterbalances universalizing and fragmenting tendencies as supernaturalism and democratization fuel pentecostal growth.
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