The Pneuma Network

Available Now! My chapter “The Pneuma News: Transcontinental Press Networks and the Construction of Modern Pentecostal Identity in the Twentieth Century” can be found in Global Protestant Missions: Politics, Reform, and Communication, 1730s-1930s (Studies in World Christianity and Interreligious Relations) 1st Edition: Amazon

The Pneuma Network: Charting the Global Pentecostal Press in the Early Twentieth Century

In the early twentieth century, Pentecostalism became a rapidly expanding movement in the global sphere of religion. My dissertation The Pneuma Network: Transnational Pentecostal Print Culture in the United States and South Africa, 1906–1948 traces the evolution of this mass phenomenon. Through an examination of publications, mission records, and personal documents, it explains the role of transnational print networks in the development of Pentecostal identities. Focused on the periodical of South Africa’s Apostolic Faith Mission, The Comforter and Messenger of Hope, it illustrates the significance of print media in the rise of the early Pentecostal movement at the local and international levels.

            Despite common perceptions of Pentecostalism as a predominantly oral faith, its practitioners have utilized print media to advance their beliefs around the world. Based on my close reading of the Apostolic Faith Mission’s publications and records, my dissertation demonstrates how periodicals catalyzed the spread of Pentecostalism in South Africa. It shows how Pentecostals, who lacked traditional ecclesiastical structures, organized network formation, funding accumulation, and news dissemination through print media. It recounts how Pentecostals’ reliance on print networks encouraged entrepreneurial evangelization in the South African context, thereby facilitating the emergence of African-initiated charismatic groups. Ultimately, my study concludes that these periodicals gave rise to a worldwide network of Pentecostal beliefs and practices.

Poster Presentation at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting, 2017

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