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Pentecost and charismata

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  • Bob Schacht
    As portrayed in Acts, the followers of Jesus were transformed at Pentecost, and there began a period of intense fellowship portrayed in Acts 2 & 4. When Paul
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 3, 2012
      As portrayed in Acts, the followers of Jesus were transformed at
      Pentecost, and there began a period of intense fellowship portrayed
      in Acts 2 & 4. When Paul writes about his "road to Damascus"
      experience, the Damascus congregation seems to have some of that
      Pentecostal spirit. Then Paul writes about charismata among the
      Corinthians a few decades later, and we seem to see something similar
      to the original Pentecostal movement in Jerusalem. But in both cases,
      it seems to have been difficult to sustain this charismatic
      fellowship for long. After Acts 4, we seem to hear no more about
      charismatic fellowship in the Jerusalem church. The later Pastorals
      focus less attention on the Charismata than on church organization.
      What happened?

      Periodically, the church in various places experiences a period of
      renewal, engendering much excitement, new converts, etc. This initial
      stage is often, but not necessarily, pentecostal in some sense. But
      that stage seems everywhere difficult to sustain. People get older,
      some die, the "magic" seems to fade, and people move away. Sometimes
      they come back, expecting everything to be the same as when they
      left, but things have moved on in their absence. For example, when
      Paul returns to visit the Jerusalem Church, as told in Galatians, the
      Jerusalem church seems very different than it was portrayed in the
      first 4 Chapters of Acts.

      I could cite other examples from the last 50 years, or the Great
      Awakening, or Babette's Feast, or a host of other examples, including
      my Iowa ancestors, but I suspect someone has already researched this
      pattern. I would be grateful if someone would share with me your
      favorite and most insightful references so that I may understand this
      pattern better. I think it would help us understand the development
      of Christianity in the First Century.

      Thanks,
      Bob Schacht
      Northern Arizona University

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Stephen Goranson
      Bob, are you asking for discussions such as Max Weber on routinization of charisma or Peter L. Berger on domestication ? Stephen Goranson
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 4, 2012
        Bob, are you asking for discussions such as Max Weber on "routinization of charisma" or Peter L. Berger on "domestication"?

        Stephen Goranson
        http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
        ________________________________
        From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of Bob Schacht [bobschacht@...]
        Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2012 2:25 AM
        To: crosstalk2
        Subject: [XTalk] Pentecost and charismata



        As portrayed in Acts, the followers of Jesus were transformed at
        Pentecost, and there began a period of intense fellowship portrayed
        in Acts 2 & 4. When Paul writes about his "road to Damascus"
        experience, the Damascus congregation seems to have some of that
        Pentecostal spirit. Then Paul writes about charismata among the
        Corinthians a few decades later, and we seem to see something similar
        to the original Pentecostal movement in Jerusalem. But in both cases,
        it seems to have been difficult to sustain this charismatic
        fellowship for long. After Acts 4, we seem to hear no more about
        charismatic fellowship in the Jerusalem church. The later Pastorals
        focus less attention on the Charismata than on church organization.
        What happened?

        Periodically, the church in various places experiences a period of
        renewal, engendering much excitement, new converts, etc. This initial
        stage is often, but not necessarily, pentecostal in some sense. But
        that stage seems everywhere difficult to sustain. People get older,
        some die, the "magic" seems to fade, and people move away. Sometimes
        they come back, expecting everything to be the same as when they
        left, but things have moved on in their absence. For example, when
        Paul returns to visit the Jerusalem Church, as told in Galatians, the
        Jerusalem church seems very different than it was portrayed in the
        first 4 Chapters of Acts.

        I could cite other examples from the last 50 years, or the Great
        Awakening, or Babette's Feast, or a host of other examples, including
        my Iowa ancestors, but I suspect someone has already researched this
        pattern. I would be grateful if someone would share with me your
        favorite and most insightful references so that I may understand this
        pattern better. I think it would help us understand the development
        of Christianity in the First Century.

        Thanks,
        Bob Schacht
        Northern Arizona University

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Bob Schacht
        ... Thanks. I gather that you think these sources are relevant, and will look into them. Bob Schacht Northern Arizona University P.S. Google has its eyes on
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 4, 2012
          At 06:18 AM 3/4/2012, Stephen Goranson wrote:
          >Bob, are you asking for discussions such as Max Weber on
          >"routinization of charisma" or Peter L. Berger on "domestication"?

          Thanks. I gather that you think these sources are relevant, and will
          look into them.

          Bob Schacht
          Northern Arizona University
          P.S. Google has its eyes on this discussion group.

          >Stephen Goranson
          >http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
          >________________________________
          >From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] on
          >behalf of Bob Schacht [bobschacht@...]
          >Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2012 2:25 AM
          >To: crosstalk2
          >Subject: [XTalk] Pentecost and charismata
          >
          >
          >
          >As portrayed in Acts, the followers of Jesus were transformed at
          >Pentecost, and there began a period of intense fellowship portrayed
          >in Acts 2 & 4. When Paul writes about his "road to Damascus"
          >experience, the Damascus congregation seems to have some of that
          >Pentecostal spirit. Then Paul writes about charismata among the
          >Corinthians a few decades later, and we seem to see something similar
          >to the original Pentecostal movement in Jerusalem. But in both cases,
          >it seems to have been difficult to sustain this charismatic
          >fellowship for long. After Acts 4, we seem to hear no more about
          >charismatic fellowship in the Jerusalem church. The later Pastorals
          >focus less attention on the Charismata than on church organization.
          >What happened?
          >
          >Periodically, the church in various places experiences a period of
          >renewal, engendering much excitement, new converts, etc. This initial
          >stage is often, but not necessarily, pentecostal in some sense. But
          >that stage seems everywhere difficult to sustain. People get older,
          >some die, the "magic" seems to fade, and people move away. Sometimes
          >they come back, expecting everything to be the same as when they
          >left, but things have moved on in their absence. For example, when
          >Paul returns to visit the Jerusalem Church, as told in Galatians, the
          >Jerusalem church seems very different than it was portrayed in the
          >first 4 Chapters of Acts.
          >
          >I could cite other examples from the last 50 years, or the Great
          >Awakening, or Babette's Feast, or a host of other examples, including
          >my Iowa ancestors, but I suspect someone has already researched this
          >pattern. I would be grateful if someone would share with me your
          >favorite and most insightful references so that I may understand this
          >pattern better. I think it would help us understand the development
          >of Christianity in the First Century.
          >
          >Thanks,
          >Bob Schacht
          >Northern Arizona University
          >
          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • David Mealand
          Seem to remember this book looked at routinization in NT period: The Pauline Churches: A Socio-historical Study of Institutionalization in the Pauline and
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 4, 2012
            Seem to remember this book looked at routinization in NT period:
            The Pauline Churches: A Socio-historical Study of
            Institutionalization in the Pauline and Deutero-Pauline
            Writings By: MacDonald, Margaret Y.. Cambridge Univ Pr, 1988

            It is also worth considering if Acts dates from a later more ordered
            phase just why it describes the very early period quite as it does.

            David M.

            ---------
            David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


            --
            The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
            Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
          • celucien_joseph
            ... From: David Mealand Sent: March 04, 2012 2:10 PM To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE: [XTalk] Pentecost and charismata Seem to
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 4, 2012
              -----Original Message-----
              From: David Mealand <D.Mealand@...>
              Sent: March 04, 2012 2:10 PM
              To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [XTalk] Pentecost and charismata



              Seem to remember this book looked at routinization in NT period:
              The Pauline Churches: A Socio-historical Study of
              Institutionalization in the Pauline and Deutero-Pauline
              Writings By: MacDonald, Margaret Y.. Cambridge Univ Pr, 1988

              It is also worth considering if Acts dates from a later more ordered
              phase just why it describes the very early period quite as it does.

              David M.

              ---------
              David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

              --
              The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
              Scotland, with registration number SC005336.


              Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post

              [The entire original message is not included]

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • ph.maertens
              Interesting question. My guess is that in the initial stage there exist high expectations which are not always fulfilled. In the case of Primitive
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 5, 2012
                Interesting question. My guess is that in the initial stage there exist high expectations which are not always fulfilled. In the case of Primitive Christianity, this would be the messianic hope. With the passing of time comes the realization that the expectations will not be realized in a near future. This would have an impact on how members relate to the group and would lead to a remodeling of the identity of the group. Thus members would reconsider their commitment to the group, giving it less priority than before, or dropping out altogether. The group itself would reconsider its role / place in society and vis-à-vis its members and probably readjust its expectations. At this point, I guess, it would become more institutionalized. This in turn would lead to a situation considered deviant compared to the initial “mythological” situation. In order to resolve this tension, people would try to restore the group “as it was in the beginning” (I wonder if this pattern may be approached to the views of Mircea Eliade, The myth of eternal return), taking up its most salient features. In the case of Christian movements, this would be the Pentecostal conditions with the high messianic hope.

                The question remains to know under what conditions members / groups return to the initial situation. One possible answer lies in the influence of newcomers who would be more sensitive to the discrepancies between the ideal situation described in the fundamental texts and the actual situation. Another one is the consider the general context. It could be that in situation of crises people will be more willing to take their commitment to the group ideology serious. This could lead to a sharper comparison between the fundamental texts and the official discourse of the group.

                As I said, this is just my guess, based partly on what I recall reading about social psychology and group dynamics. Maybe a good place to start with along these lines are the following:



                Charles Stangor, Social Groups in Action and Interaction, New York / Hove; Psychology Press, 2004



                Michael A. Hogg, Dominic Abrams, Social Identifications. A Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations and Group Processes, London / New York: Routledge, 1998



                Michael A. Hogg, R. Scott Tindale (eds), Blackwell Handbook of Social Psychology: Group Processes, Malden / Oxford: Blackwell, 2001, 86-106



                Sunny greetings from the Algarve, Portugal

                Philip Maertens



                De: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] Em nome de David Mealand
                Enviada: domingo, 4 de Março de 2012 20:11
                Para: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
                Assunto: RE: [XTalk] Pentecost and charismata






                Seem to remember this book looked at routinization in NT period:
                The Pauline Churches: A Socio-historical Study of
                Institutionalization in the Pauline and Deutero-Pauline
                Writings By: MacDonald, Margaret Y.. Cambridge Univ Pr, 1988

                It is also worth considering if Acts dates from a later more ordered
                phase just why it describes the very early period quite as it does.

                David M.

                ---------
                David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

                --
                The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                Scotland, with registration number SC005336.





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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