57 David Edwin Harrell, Jr., Oral Roberts: An American Life (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985). 622 pp., $24.95, ISBN 0-253-15844-3 Reviewed by Joel A. Carpenter* "Oral Roberts," claims historian David Edwin Harrell, "has been one of the most influential religious leaders in the world in the twentieth century." (p. vii) Although Roberts' ministry is the most visible symbol of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements since World War II, it has not received careful attention from those who study American religion. Harrell's splendid biography almost, makes up for this inexcusable failure. In five hundred pages of text and over a hundred pages of notes, it examines the dramatic career of a man driven by the belief that God had called him, a poor Pentecostal preacher's son, to bring healing and wholeness to all of mankind. The storey of Oral Roberts' ministry may be well-known in Pentecostal circles, but even "insiders" will gain a great deal of understanding from this book. Few have studied, for example, the "middle years" of the Pentecostal movement, say from 1920 to 1945. But these are the formative years of the Roberts clan in , southeastern Oklahoma, and the author sketches a lovingly detailed background
Pneuma – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1986
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