Models of Pentecostal healing and practice in light of early twentieth century Pentecostalism

Alexander, Kimberly Ervin (2003). Models of Pentecostal healing and practice in light of early twentieth century Pentecostalism. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000e7e5

Abstract

This thesis offers an examination of healing theology and practice as found in early North American Pentecostalism.

The thesis begins with a brief survey of recent scholarship and research on the subject of healing in America, establishing that little attention has been given to the theology and practice of the early Pentecostal movement.

The first major section of the thesis is devoted to an examination of the Divine Healing Movement of the nineteenth century, providing the historical and theological background of the Pentecostal Movement's healing theology and practice. By examining the writings of five major practitioners of the movement (including A.B. Simpson, Andrew Murray and Carrie Judd Montgomery), a nineteenth-century theology of 'divine healing provided in the atonement' is articulated.

A major portion of the thesis is devoted to an analysis of healing theology and practice in early North American Pentecostalism. An inductive approach is employed, examining the earliest (1906 to 1923) periodical literature of the movement, and where that is not available examining other extant materials, such as sermons, songs and tracts. This portion of the study consists of two major parts: Wesleyan-Pentecostalism and Finished Work Pentecostalism. The result of this examination is the identification of two distinct healing theologies and the attendant practices, which are consistent with each group's distinct soteriological characteristics.

A models approach is then employed by which, out of the materials previously examined, these two distinct theologies of healing are constructed. A case study of Pentecostal responses to the 1918 Influenza Epidemic serves both to illustrate and test the two models of healing.

A final chapter summarizes conclusions including contributions, clarifications, and implications of the research for further Pentecostal studies as well as a theological reflection on the findings.

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