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Black Fire: One Hundred Years of African American Pentecostalism Paperback – June 3, 2011
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"Black Fire provides a much-needed narrative that completes, and at times corrects, the general histories of both American Christianity and the Pentecostal and charismatic movements." (William Purinton, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 36, No. 2)
"This particular book is especially welcome. African American Pentecostals have become a major force in American (and world) Christianity, but there is a serious lack of well-documented studies. Estrelda Alexander does an excellent job filling that lamentable gap." (Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame)
"Pentecostalism is one of the most vibrant and important developments in modern Christianity. In this welcome and much-needed book, Estrelda Y. Alexander demonstrates convincingly that this global work of the Spirit has to a large extent emerged from and continues to be fanned into flame by the African American community. Outsiders who think a few more controversial variations of 'black fire' sometimes look like 'strange fire' will be glad to learn that the African American church has able internal critics of its own outliers. Every Christian--indeed, everyone interested in the present and future of Christianity--needs to know this story." (Timothy Larsen, McManis Professor of Christian Thought, Wheaton College)
"Black Fire offers an expansive historical overview of African American Holiness-Pentecostals and their often overlooked contributions to the early development, dissemination and current vitality of the modern Pentecostal movement from its inception to the present. Students and scholars of African American religion and culture will appreciate its rich content, as well as its nuanced attention to matters of race, class, gender and generation." (Karen Kossie-Chernyshev, Ph.D., professor of history, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas)
"Dr. Alexander has gathered the major, minor, profound and pedestrian aspects of African American Holiness-Pentecostalism in a volume that seeks to provide a Rosetta stone for scholars, students, denominational historians and the general public. She is clear to state that this work is an endearing labor of love to articulate her experience as an African American Pentecostal worshiper, scholar and minister. This volume is the seedbed of a crop of readable studies in African American Holiness-Pentecostal history, theology and culture. A worthy investment in understanding the why, who, what and how of a century-old community of denominations linked to the book of Acts and 312 Azusa Street. Kudos!" (Dr. Ida E. Jones, historian, Calvary Bible Institute and Moorland Spingarn Research Center, Howard University, Washington, D.C.)
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Top Customer Reviews
Or, rather, was until Estrelda Y. Alexander's Black Fire introduced me to the rich history and spirituality of African American Pentecostals. I learned from her how Pentecostalism's characteristically exuberant worship drew on the rhythms of African spirituality. I learned the vital role the Holiness movement played in the formation of black Pentecostalism. Her chapter on William J. Seymour and the Azusa Street Revival is the best one-chapter summary of that pivotal moment in Pentecostal history I have read. I discovered how influential Oneness Pentecostalism is in the black community. I grew to appreciate the struggles my co-religionists have faced not only in predominantly white denominations but also in forming predominantly black denominations. And Alexander's book sensitized me to the double discrimination African American women faced in becoming leaders because of both their color and their sex.
I heartily recommend Black Fire to anyone interested in the history of American Pentecostalism. If you do not understand the vital role that African Americans have played both in leading this movement and in populating its churches and ministries, then you simply have not understood the movement. Alexander's book is thoroughly documented, contains two brief bibliographies (or primary and secondary sources), as well as name and subject indices. It is useful, therefore, to readers who want a one-volume introduction to the subject as well as to students who would like to do further research but are unsure where to start.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is thought-provoking! This is a balanced, scholarly discussion of the history and legacy of Pentecostal churches. Would recommend to others.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
I love this book it is also good for reference materil on the history of the black churchPublished 18 months ago by L'Rea Robinson