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An Unpredictable GospelAmerican Evangelicals and World Christianity, 1812-1920$
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Jay Riley Case

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199772322

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199772322.001.0001

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Holiness Conversions

Holiness Conversions

(p.209) 8 Holiness Conversions
An Unpredictable Gospel

Jay Riley Case

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains how holiness missionary women such as Agnes McAllister, Amanda Smith, and Lucy Drake Osborn disregarded dominant conceptions of gender in their pursuit of conversion. This same impulse led holiness missionaries to downplay key conventions of civilization, such as race, class, national identity, rationalized planning, materialism, and millennial progress. This disregard for the discourse of civilization infused the holiness movement with forms of cultural adaptability and democratized religion that allowed African, Asian, and Latin American evangelists such as William Wadé Harris to shape new movements of world Christianity according to the issues of local cultural concern. News of these new movements of world Christianity then flowed back through holiness missionary networks to influence the American holiness movement itself. This news intensified ecstatic revivalism and supernaturalism within the more radical wing of American holiness, laying the foundation for worldwide Pentecostalism.

Keywords:   holiness movement, civilization, conversion, gender, Agnes McAllister, Amanda Smith, Lucy Drake Osborn, William Wadé Harris, missionary

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