Cover image for Tongues of fire : the explosion of Protestantism in Latin America
Title:
Tongues of fire : the explosion of Protestantism in Latin America
Author:
Martin, David, 1929-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford, UK ; Cambridge, Mass., USA : B. Blackwell, 1990.
Physical Description:
xiii, 352 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780631171867
Format :
Book

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BX4832.5 .M37 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

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Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Martin, a leading authority in the sociology of religion, here looks at a recent and largely unstudied phenomenon: the rapid growth of evangelicalism in Latin America, in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Central America, and the Caribbean. This growth is compared to similar growth in South Korea and Africa. Martin discusses spiritual gifts and conversions in terms of the changing socioeconomic situation, carefully analyzing the relationship of Anglo-American and Latin American cultures. He notes especially the appeal of Pentecostalism to the newly urbanized poor, to whom it provides a nonintellectual style and a protective network where skills in self-expression and leadership can be developed. An excellent scholarly analysis that is accessible to the average reader and provides a good bibliography as well. Highly recommended.-- C. Robert Nixon, M.L.S., Lafayette, Ind. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

This astonishingly rich book documents the rapid growth of Protestantism, and particularly Pentecostalism, in Latin America. Martin, a sociologist of religion and hence an outsider to the religious studies establishment, presents a substantial challenge to current interpretations of religion and social change. His thesis is that Protestantism creates a "free space" in traditionally polarized societies, facilitating social mobility, new social networks, and individual change for the poor, blacks, and women. This view is elaborated in detailed accounts of several Latin American countries (e.g., Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua), with reference also to similar developments in South Korea and South Africa. Martin's study flies in the face of stereotyped portrayals of Pentecostalism: he cites evidence that Pentecostalism fosters successful behavior in industrializing societies; that it can feminize the macho male psyche; that its apoliticism does not necessarily support the established powers; and that it may represent the "Latin Americanization" of North American Protestantism rather than some new American imperialism. This is an important book that makes a new and significant contribution to a crucial debate. Very highly recommended. -G. E. Paul, Gustavus Adolphus College