The heartfelt spirit : capitalism, affect, and Pentecostal modernity in the Americas




Doran, Justin Michael

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This dissertation examines how local experiences of capitalism have been mediated by Christian charismatic practices into a global Pentecost over the twentieth century. It analyzes those mediations through a series of historical vignettes that link the origins of nineteenth-century American primitivist piety to the confluence of twenty-first century global Pentecostalism in Houston. Its narrative arc embodies a continuous lineage connecting watershed changes in Christian piety across the Americas, including the proliferation of divine healing, speaking in tongues, baptizing in Jesus’ name, casting out devils, and providential sacrifice. Together, these vignettes demonstrate how Pentecostalism operated as a dynamic circulatory system for charismatic practices rather than a network of churches linked by common doctrines. The circulation of these charismatic practices both sustained local congregations and vitalized global Pentecost. I argue throughout that the historical intimacy between late capitalism and Pentecostalism suggests that Pentecost is a kind of modernity, rather than a reaction to it. In Pentecostal modernity, Christians re-formed themselves through Pentecost amid lifeways that were continually being fractured by capitalism’s relentless integration of human components into the machinery of accumulation.


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