The theology of experience as a distinctive mark of Pentecostalism: A case study of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe.

Chipere, Ranganai Charles (2023). The theology of experience as a distinctive mark of Pentecostalism: A case study of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This research analyses the theology of experience as a distinctive mark of Pentecostalism with the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFMZ) as a case study. The thesis devolves upon religious experience in general and then formulates African Pentecostal Christian experience as a particular experience of African/Shona Pentecostals of the AFMZ brand. Historical antecedences of such experience are traced to establish how the theology of experience has operated in the Pentecostal movement and how these shapes religious experience in the context of an indigenised African Pentecostal church. The thesis notes that the theology of experience of the AFMZ is informed by the Bible as they understand it as well as African Traditional religious views of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Religious experience is expressed in the context of the African enchanted worldview where mystical causality is key to interpreting African realities. The research shows how the experiential form of Christianity has been embraced, adapted, and propagated within a Zimbabwean classical Pentecostal church which has experienced phenomenal growth besides birthing other African Pentecostal groups. The contribution of specific Pentecostal doctrines and practices of the AFMZ which are directly linked to religious experience are analysed with special attention to their resonance with ATR. The research notes that African Pentecostals of the AFMZ brand practise responsible syncretism by selectively adopting and adapting Shona religio-cultural traits consistent with Pentecostal Christianity. This is done on the backdrop of their quest for a Spirit-connected community being a special kind of ecclesiology and African holistic pneumatology which is a special kind of liberative pneumatology as it addresses missional and existential issues. This thesis establishes and characterises the theology of experience of the AFMZ as that of encountering God and countering the spirit-filled world.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Student Finance England
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion


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