What Has Been Happening In The Charismatic Movement

What Has Been Happening In The Charismatic Movement

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167

FOCUS:

THE CHARISMATIC

MOVEMENT

What Has Been

Happening

Charismatic Movement?

in the

Peter Hocken Guest Editor

When

Murray Dempster

raised with me the

possibility

of an issue of PNEUMA on the Charismatic

movement,

I

suggested

that this theme really required

two issues rather than one. This

request was,

I hope, not simply

an

expression

of specialist hubris. It stemmed from an awareness that there is still a dearth of

specialized

research on the Charismatic movement. Whereas the Pentecostal movement has been in existence long enough

to attract an

increasing

volume of

studies,

historical and sociological,

its

younger

Charismatic

sibling

is too recent to have acquired

an

equivalent specialized bibliography. Indeed,

in a fast-moving

world and in a Christian sector

renowned, perhaps notorious,

for its fluctuations and

novelties,

it is more difficult to

gather and to assess such a variegated phenomenon.

Accordingly,

I felt the need for one issue of PNEUMA to address the question:

“What Has Been

Happening

in the Charismatic Movement?” I believed that it would be a missed

opportunity

to have a Focus Section on

theological

issues raised

by

the Charismatic movement or other forms of evaluation and

assessment,

without more data on what is being

evaluated and assessed.

So,

this issue is an

attempt, necessarily modest within the limitations of one hundred

pages,

to

provide

some significant

data on the Charismatic movement in different

parts

of the world.

The contents of this issue make no claim to be

comprehensive

or representative.

Besides the limitations of space, there are the limitations. concerning

those

engaged

in

specialist

research or with

specialized knowledge

in this area. An

attempt

has been made to include research both from North America and from other continents.

My attempts

to find Asian contributors did not

succeed,

and I must confess that I did not ask

any

Latin American. This latter omission is partly due to

space and

partly

due to the

greater difficulty

in Latin America of distinguishing Charismatic,

at least

Evangelical Charismatic,

from Pentecostal in that continent and

region.

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168

I have also

attempted

a balance in the contents between mainline Protestant

Renewal,

Roman Catholic Charismatic Renewal and the independent

Charismatic sector.

Thus,

the article from Ghana

(C. Omenyo)

covers all

three,

as does the brief

report

from Australia

(G. Waugh); my

own article on the United States focuses on mainline Renewal,

Protestant and Catholic. Protestant

Charismatics,

mainline and

independent,

are covered in

Germany (R. Hempelmann).

Catholic Charismatic Renewal is addressed in Poland

(D. Cupial)

and in the covenant communities in the United States

(T. Rush).

The

independent sector is studied with the Ichthus churches in Britain

(A. O’ Sullivan). Besides the book reviews

relating

to Charismatic

Renewal,

the theme is completed

with articles

addressing overlapping topics:

that on Youth With A Mission

(P. Hocken)

and that on

ICCOWE,

the International Charismatic Consultation on World

Evangelization (M. Harper).

As was

implied above,

the intention is that there will be a second issue of PNEUMA on the Charismatic movement. This

forthcoming issue, currently envisaged

for

Spring, 1996,

will focus on evaluation and

assessment,

with contributions from

specialists

in biblical

studies, systematic theology

and the social sciences. There will be a Feedback feature on the contents of this

issue,

as it makes most sense to include this feedback in the second issue on this theme rather than in the next following

number.

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