From the Margins to the Centre: Commercialisation of Religion - Threat or an Opportunity in Pentecostalism?

Daniel Nicolaas Andrew


Allan H. Anderson has done extensive research about Pentecostalism as a global phenomenon, his work is well situated in the phenomenology of religion which is regarded as a useful conceptual framework in Pentecostal research. The study is conducted in the form of a comparative literature study and draws from literature on the phenomenon of Pentecostalism in the work of Allan H. Anderson to have a critical understanding of the prosperity gospel and how it impacts current conversations on the commercialisation of religion in Pentecostalism. The World Council of Churches (WCC) regards the emergence of strong Pentecostal and charismatic movements from different localities as one of the most noteworthy characteristics of world Christianity today – calling it a shift to the centre of gravity of Christianity. Due to the influence of the commercialising of religion on Pentecostalism, this centre is threatened but it can also be an opportunity for mission and transformation. The study illustrates how the commercialising of religion has become a part of Christianity, how it has been clothed and shipped by missionaries from the European and North American context into the Two-Thirds world. The vision of the early church is to be holy, while the vision of the early Pentecostal movement is to restore New Testament Christianity that can assist Pentecostals today to have a balanced view of the commercialisation of religion that embraces both individual and social holiness that is faithful witnesses of the mission Dei and bring transformation in society.


Pentecostalism, Global and local phenomenon, commercialisation of Religion, holiness, faithful witness, change agents, transformation

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