Item Details

Friend or Foe? Finding Common Ground between Development and Pentecostalism

Issue: Vol 14 No. 2 (2015)

Journal: PentecoStudies: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Research on the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements

Subject Areas: Religious Studies

DOI: 10.1558/ptcs.v14i2.25514


Religious belief is a common human characteristic with 80 percent of the world’s population professing some religious affiliation. Indeed, global surveys report an increase in ‘religiosity’ across the globe in recent decades. Within Christianity, Pentecostalism has experienced considerable growth in contrast with the more traditional Christian churches. This growth is occurring across the globe, but is extremely evident within developing countries. Within development studies (both the theory and practice), religion has been negatively portrayed, misunderstood, or set aside as not being of importance to development outcomes. Such an approach towards religion is misguided and limits development effectiveness. While religion is certainly not the ‘answer’ to eradicating poverty or overcoming global injustices, authentic engagement by development actors with religion does provide important opportunities to enhance development outcomes. This paper will consider the basic tenets of development theory and practice and contrast those against Pentecostal theological teaching in order to determine where there exists common ground and where there exists misalignment of values and thus tension. Such assessment is important in order to enhance the religious literacy of the development sector to better understand how to authentically engage with communities expressing this belief.

Author: Matthew Clarke

View Original Web Page

References :

Amanor, K. 2009. “Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches in Ghana and the African
Culture: Confrontation or Compromise?”. Journal of Pentecostal Theology 18:
Anderson, A. 2012. “A ‘Time to Share Love’: Global Pentecostalism and the Social Ministry
of David Yonggi Cho”. Journal of Pentecostal Theology 21: 152–67. http://dx.doi.
Barrett, D. and T. Johnson. 2002. “Global Statistics”. In S. Burgess and E. van der Maas
(eds) The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements.
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan: 282–302.
Chambers, R. 1983. Rural Development: Putting the Last First. Harlow: Longman.
—. 2005. Ideas for Development. London: Earthscan.
Clarke, G. and M. Jennings. 2008. Development, Civil Society and Faith-Based
Organizations. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Clarke, M. 2011. Development and Religion: Theology and Practice. Cheltenham: Edward
Elgar Publishing.
—. (ed.). 2013a. Handbook of Research on Religion and Development. Cheltenham: Edward
Elgar Publishing.
—. 2013b. “Understanding the Nexus between Religion and Development”. In Clarke
(2013a): 1–14.
—. 2013c. “Good Works and God’s Work: A Case Study of Churches and Community
Development in Vanuatu”. Asia Pacific Viewpoint 54.3: 340–51. http://dx.doi.
—. and J. Donnelly. 2014. “Learning from Missionaries: Lessons for Secular Development
Practitioners”. In A. Adogame, J. McLean and A. Jeremiah (eds), Engaging the World:
Christian Communities in Contemporary Global Societies. Oxford: Regnum: 169–85.
Craig, D. and D. Porter. 1997. “Framing Participation: Development Projects,
Professionals, and Organizations”. Development in Practice 7.3: 229–36. http://
Dale, R. 2004. Development Planning. London: Zed Books.
de Kock, W. 2000. “Pentecostal Power for a Pentecostal Task: Empowerment through
Engagement in South African Context”. Journal of Pentecostal Theology 16: 102–16.
Deneulin, S. 2009. Religion in Development: Re-writing the Secular Script. London: Zed
Freeman, D. (ed.). 2012. Pentecostalism and Development: Churches, NGOs and
Social Change in Africa. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. http://dx.doi.
Gosling, L. and M. Edwards. 1995. “Recognise and Deal With Differences and
Discrimination”. In Toolkits: A Practical Guide to Assessment, Monitoring, Review
and Evaluation. London: Save the Children: 25–37.
Goulet, D. 1980. “Development Experts: The One-Eyed Giants”. World Development 8.7–
8: 481–9.
Horton, S. (ed.). 1994. Systematic Theology: A Pentecostal Perspective. Springfield, MO:
Logion Press.
James, W. 1902. The Varieties of Religious Experience. New York: Longmans, Green & Co.
Jenney, T. 1994. “The Holy Spirit and Sanctification”. In Horton (1994): 419–32.
Kingsbury, D., J. McKay, J. Hunt, M. McGillivray and M. Clarke (eds). 2012. International
Development: Issues and Challenges. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Klaus, B. 1994. “The Mission of the Church”. In Horton (1994): 166–92.
Korten, D. 1990. Getting to the 21st Century: Voluntary Action and the Global Agenda.
West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press.
Lim, D. 1994. “Spiritual Gifts”. In Horton (1994): 605–33.
Marshall, K. and M. Van Saanen. 2007. Development and Faith. Washington, DC: Word
McGee, G. 2004. People of the Spirit: the Assemblies of God. Springfield, MO: Gospel
Publishing House.
McGillivray, M. 2012. “What is Development?”. In Kingsbury et al. (2012): 23–52.
McKay, J. 2012. “The Economics of Development”. In Kingsbury et al. (2012): 138–62.
McLean, P. 1994. “The Holy Spirit”. In Horton (1994): 69–92.
Miller, D. and T. Yamamori. 2007. Global Pentecostalism: the New Face of Christian Social
Engagement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
O’Brien, J. and M. Palmer. 2007. The Atlas of Religion. London: Earthscan.
Parsitau, D. 2012. “Agents of Gendered Change”. In Freeman (2012): 203–21.
Pew Research Centre. 2011. “Global Christianity”. Available at
files/2011/12/Christianity-fullreport-web.pdf (accessed 28 March 2014).
Rees, J. 2001. Religion and International Politics and Development. Cheltenham: Edward
Rosenstein-Rodan, P. 1943. “Problems of Industrialization of Eastern and South-Eastern
Europe”. Economic Journal 53: 202–11.
Segal, E. 2009. Introducing Judaism. Abingdon: Routledge.
Sen, A. 1999. Development as Freedom. New York: Alfred Knopf.
Sharpe, M. 2013. “Name It and Claim It: Prosperity Gospel and the Global Pentecostal
Reformation”. In Clarke (2013a): 164–82.
Sihlongonyane, M. F. 2003. “The Rhetoric of the Community in Project Management: The
Case of Mohlakeng Township”. Development in Practice 11.1: 34–44. http://dx.doi.
Stiglitz, J. E. 1999. “The Role of Participation in Development”. Development Outreach
Summer: 1–4.
Ter Haar, G. (ed.) 2009. Religion and Development: Ways of Transforming the World.
London: Hurst and Co.
Tomalin, E. 2013. Religions and Development. Abingdon: Routledge.
Uphoff, N., M. Esman and A. Krishna. 1998. Reasons for Success: Learning from Instructive
Experiences in Rural Development. West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press.
Ware, V., A. Ware, M. Clarke and G. Buchanan. 2013. “Why Western-Based, Pentecostal
Mission Organisations Undertake Community Development in South East Asia”. In
Clarke (2013a): 430–51.
Warrington, K. 2008. Pentecostal Theology: A Theology of Encounter. London: T. & T.
Williams, J. 1990. Renewal Theology: Salvation, the Holy Spirit, and Christian Living.
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.