The Ethnography of a Dutch Pentecostal Church: Vineyard Utrecht and the International Charismatic Movement (Hardback)Peter Gerrit Albert Versteeg
Hardback Published: 01/02/2010
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This anthropological study investigates the role of religious experiences in the growth of Pentecostal churches through a case study of a Dutch charismatic church. Included is an ethnographic analysis of the congregation, as well as a detailed description of the history and development of the Vineyard community. This anthropological study investigates the meaning of religious experience in a Dutch charismatic church. It focuses in particular on the nature of this religious form in which experience is emphasized as the authoritative foundation for making sense of self and world. Through a phenomenological approach the central importance of religious experience is described, understood by believers as the awareness of closeness, intimacy and consolation in the relation with a powerful and loving sacred object. Equally important in this experiential emphasis in this church is the idea that experiencing God is radically opposed to what believers understand as 'tradition', which refers to a religion without the personal experience of God. This study shows that charismatic Christian religion is built upon several fields of experience which construe the kind of religious affections people recognize as being from God, i.e. worship, prophecy, and bodily ecstasy. As such this case study demonstrates how this type of Christianity is a viable option for people living in a society where church and traditional Christian forms are rapidly declining.
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd