CHRC 88 . 2 ( 2008 ) 253 – 288 299 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/187124108X354493 Randall J. Stephens , The Fire Spreads. Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South . Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA/London 2008 , xi + 393 pp. ISBN 9780674026728 . US$ 27 . 95 ; 23 . 80 . Presidential election years are a reminder of the religious and regional di ﬀ erences in the United States. The South is now the stronghold and export center of the fast-growing Pentecostal tradition counting over 500 million adherents worldwide. This result found its origin as a mustard seed in a region resisting this Yankee import. In The Fire Spreads Randall Stephens, assistant professor of history at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts, puts the Pentecostal tradition in the South in a broad historical perspective in a masterfully researched and well-written book. The book seeks to explain the nature of this change and its e ﬀ ects. Earlier histories explained the attraction of Pentecostalism from an alleged need among the lower classes for escapism, but none paid attention to the regional roots. This oversight was caused by the peculiar regional character which
Church History and Religious Culture (formerly Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
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