W. F. P. Burton (1886-1971) and Congolese agency: a biographical study of a pentecostal mission

Emmett, David Neil (2017). W. F. P. Burton (1886-1971) and Congolese agency: a biographical study of a pentecostal mission. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis contributes originally to pentecostal historiography through bringing a pre-eminent figure in early British Pentecostalism into the limelight showing how Pentecostalism in Belgian Congo was pioneered by him alongside local agency. Together they furthered its development in the southeastern Katanga and Kasai provinces. Central to W.F.P. Burton’s contradictory and complex personality was a passionate desire to see the emancipation of humankind from the spiritual powers of darkness believing only Spirit-empowered local agency would enduringly prove effective.

This thesis unevenly portrays Burton’s Congolese years by parsing biographical landmarks alongside his persistent attempts to co-labour with local agency. Burton’s ambitions might have been circumscribed by his birth into a notable family. Burton though, lived with a faith which believed for Spirit intervention in church communities converting lives, bringing physical healing and transforming regions. In the maelstrom following Congolese Independence, Burton’s belief in his own brand of indigenisation made him an outlier even among Pentecostals. This thesis argues such pentecostal faith engendered an idealism which frustratingly conflicted with those not sharing it in the way he understood and pursued it. It thus serves Pentecostals (holding a similar faith) and historians by clarifying his ideals and revealing the reasons for his frustrations.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BX Christian Denominations
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/7357


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