Loustau, Marc (College of the Holy Cross) – Introduction to Charismatic-Pentecostal Christianity

College of the Holy Cross
Religious Studies Department
RELS 199 – 02
Introduction to Charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity

Instructor: Prof. Marc Roscoe Loustau Office: Smith 212
Office Hours: Tuesday, 1:00-2:30PM, Wednesday, 12:00-1:30PM, and by appointment mloustau706@gmail.com
857-222-6955 (cell – for emergencies)

Monday, Wednesday 3:00-4:15PM
Location: Stein 319

Course Description
The rise of Charismatic and Pentecostal forms of Christianity is one of the most important religious, cultural, and political shifts of the 20th and 21st centuries. Charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity is also reshaping Catholicism in many parts of the world. Students will learn about the origins and basic practices Charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity, with special attention to its Catholic form: Charismatic Catholicism. Core topics are organized around five basic practices of Charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity: speaking in tongues, prophecy, prayer, exorcism, and healing. The readings and assignments will also give students a chance to examine theoretical debates about the concept of charisma. This course has three learning goals: 1) be able to describe and explain the significance of basic Charismatic/Pentecostal practices; 2) develop and demonstrate knowledge of the practices of Charismatic/Pentecostal Christian movements in different regions of the world; and 3) demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the concept of charisma.

The Catholics & Cultures Web Site is an excellent resource for information about Catholic communities around the world. Please read one of the articles under the heading, “Practices & Values Around the World” in the section on “Charismatic Practice” before class on Monday, September 5th . (https://www.catholicsandcultures.org/node/223/charismatic-practice).

Course Requirements
There are five formal requirements for this course.

A. Classroom Participation:
Half of the grade for classroom participation will be based on attendance. In cases of unforeseen absence (e.g., because of illness), students are expected to contact me as soon as they are able. Arrangements for foreseen absences (e.g., participation in college-sponsored athletic events) should be made with me at least a week in advance of the anticipated absence. All reasonable accommodations will be made for students who miss class for compelling reasons. The other half of this grade will be based on active contribution to discussion.

B. Reflection Statements:
Beginning in Week 2 (except for selected weeks, see Reflection statements handout sheet) each student will submit a double-spaced, one-page reflection statement via the course Moodle. Reflections are due via the course Moodle on Sundays at 5PM. The first reflection is due Sunday, September 4, 5PM. They will be graded for submission, not for content. An on-time submission will receive a “Check,” or full credit. See Reflection Statements Handout sheet for detailed instructions.

C. Paper #1:
Compare and contrast Charismatic/Pentecostal practices in two regions of the world. 5-6 pages. Due Friday, October 7, 2016, 5PM via the course Moodle. See handout for detailed instructions.

D. Paper #2:
Describe and evaluate one definition of “charisma,” using an example drawn from the assigned readings. 5-6 pages. Due Friday, November 11, 2016, 5PM via the course Moodle. See handout for detailed instructions.

E. Final Paper:
Students will submit a one-paragraph proposal for a 9-10 page paper. Proposals are due on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. The final paper will be due Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 5PM via the course Moodle.

Language is central to education since it is the chief means by which the transmission and exchange of ideas take place. I acknowledge that nowhere are clarity and precision of language so important or so difficult to achieve as in writing. I am committed to helping you find resources to achieve excellence in writing. The goal of papers and reflections is to promote critical thinking and analytical writing; effective analysis of academic discourse and nonacademic reportage; and inquisitive attitudes toward the intellectual and/or cultural assumptions that underlie course readings and students’ own writing. All papers will be returned with substantive written feedback from the instructor. All papers will be graded based on grammar, style, effectiveness and coherence of argument, extent to which supporting evidence is appropriately cited, and extent to which an understanding of the texts is demonstrated.

All written assignments are to be turned in via the course Moodle.

Classroom Participation – 15%
Reflection Statements – 20%
Paper #1 – 20%
Paper #2 – 20%
Final Paper – 25%

Late/Extension Policy
In case of emergency, requests for extensions will be considered up to 24 hours before the submission deadline for each assignment. If no extension is granted, 1/3 grade will be automatically deducted for each day late (e.g. if a paper is due on Friday and is handed in on Saturday, an A paper will become an A- paper; on Sunday it will become a B+ paper).

College of the Holy Cross Academic Honesty Policy
All education is a cooperative enterprise between faculty and students. This cooperation requires trust and mutual respect, which are only possible in an environment governed by the principles of academic honesty. As an institution devoted to teaching, learning, and intellectual inquiry, Holy Cross expects all members of the College community to abide by the highest standards of academic integrity. Any violation of academic honesty undermines the student-faculty relationship, thereby wounding the whole community. The principal violations of academic honesty are plagiarism, cheating, and collusion.

Plagiarism is the act of taking the words, ideas, data, illustrative material, or statements of someone else, without full and proper acknowledgement, and presenting them as one’s own.

Cheating is the use of improper means or subterfuge to gain credit or advantage. Forms of cheating include the use, attempted use, or improper possession of unauthorized aids in any examination or other academic exercise submitted for evaluation; the fabrication or falsification of data; misrepresentation of academic or extracurricular credentials; and deceitful performance on placement examinations. It is also cheating to submit the same work for credit in more than one course, except as authorized in advance by the course instructors.

Collusion is assisting or attempting to assist another student in an act of academic dishonesty.

It is the responsibility of students, independent of the faculty’s responsibility, to understand the proper methods of using and quoting from source materials (as explained in standard handbooks such as The Little Brown Handbook and the Harbrace College Handbook), and to take credit only for work they have completed through their own individual efforts within the guidelines established by the faculty.

Readings and Topics
Required texts are available in the bookstore. All readings are also available on the course Moodle, in downloadable .pdf files. Students are required to bring hard copies of the assigned texts to class.

Week 1
Wednesday, August 31
Review of the course and topic. Syllabus, readings, assignments, and logistics. Brief introductory remarks on key concepts and learning goals.

Week 2: Origins, Groups, and Debates

  • Cox, Harvey, Fire from Heaven (1995). Introduction “The Little Church and the Big City” (Pp. 3-18), Chapter 2 “The Fire Falls in Los Angeles” (Pp. 45-66), Chapter 3 “The Fire Spreads” (Pp. 67-80).
  • Christian New Testament (New Revised Standard Version), Acts of the Apostles: Chapter 2; 1st Corinthians: Chapters 12-14.

Wednesday, September 7

  • Cox, Harvey, Fire from Heaven (1995). Chapter 4 “Another Voice: The Recovery of Primal Speech” (Pp. 81-98), Chapter 6 “The Future Present: The Recovery of Primal Hope” (Pp. 100-111).
  • Luhrmann, Tanya, When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God (2012). Chapter 1, “The Invitation” (Pp. 3-38).

Week 3: Origins, Groups, and Debates
Monday, September 12

  • Anderson, Allan, Introduction to Pentecostalism, Second Edition (2014). Introduction (Pp. 1-17), Chapter 3 “North America” (Pp. 40-71).

Wednesday, September 14

  • Anderson, Allan, Introduction to Pentecostalism, Second Edition (2014). Chapter 8 “The Charismatic Renewal” (Pp. 157-177), Chapter 9 “Theology of the Spirit” (Pp. 179-198).
  • Csordas, Thomas J. “Global Religion and the Reenchantment of the World: The Case of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal,” Anthropological Theory (7) 3: 295-313.

Week 4: Speaking in Tongues
Monday, September 19

  • Luhrmann, Tanya. “Why We Talk in Tongues,” New York Times, August 17, 2013.
  • Marina, Peter. 2013. Getting the Holy Ghost: Urban Ethnography in a Brooklyn Pentecostal Tongue-Speaking Church. “Introduction” (Pp. 1-15), Chapter 6, “Becoming a God Hunter” (Pp. 131-155), Chapter 7 “Getting Saved” (Pp. 155-187).

Wednesday, September 21

  • Marina, Peter. 2013. Getting the Holy Ghost: Urban Ethnography in a Brooklyn Pentecostal Tongue-Speaking Church. Chapter 8 “Speaking in Tongues” (187-226), Chapter 10, “Individual Consequences to Becoming Pentecostal” (Pp. 255-284).

Week 5: Preaching
Monday, September 26

  • Luehrmann, Sonja. 2011. Secularism Soviet Style: Teaching Atheism and Religion in a Volga Republic. “Introduction: Atheism, Secularity, and Postsecular Religion (Pp. 1-26), Chapter 2 “‘Go teach:” Methods of Change” (Pp. 59-94), Chapter 3 “Church Closings and Sermon Circuits” (Pp. 95-121).

Wednesday, September 28

Week 6: Prayer
Monday, October 3

  • Luhrmann, Tanya. 2012. When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God. Chapter 2 “Is That You, God?” (Pp. 39-72), Chapter 3 “Let’s Pretend” (Pp. 72-100).

Wednesday, October 5

  • Luhrmann, Tanya. 2012. When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God. Chapter 4 “Developing your heart” (Pp. 101-132), Chapter 6 “Lord, teach us to pray” (Pp. 157-189), Chapter 8 “But are they crazy?” (Pp. 189-227).


Week 7: Watching Movies and Listening to Music
Monday, October 17

  • Meyer, Birgit. 2015. Sensational Movies: Video, Vision, and Christianity in Ghana. Introduction (Pp. 1-39), Chapter 2 “Accra, Visions of the City,” (Pp. 81-116).

Wednesday, October 19

  • Meyer, Birgit. 2015. Sensational Movies: Video, Vision, and Christianity in Ghana. Chapter 3 “Moving Pictures and Lived Experience,” (Pp. 116-153), Chapter 4 “Film as Revelation,” (Pp. 153-192).
  • Oosterbaan, Martijn. 2015. “Mediating Culture – Charisma, Fame, and Sincerity in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.” In The Anthropology of Global Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism (Pp. 161-176).

Week 8: Buying and Selling

Monday, October 24

  • Wiegele, Katharine L. 2004. Investing in Miracles: El Shaddai and the Transformation of Popular Catholicism in the Philippines. Chapter 1 “Seeking El Shaddai” (Pp. 1-16), Chapter 2 “Golden Rules, Miracle Investments, and the Seed-Faith Principle,” (Pp. 16- 41).

Wednesday, October 26

  • Wiegele, Katharine L. 2004. Investing in Miracles: El Shaddai and the Transformation of Popular Catholicism in the Philippines. Chapter 4 “Urban Spaces of Community and Congregation” (Pp 59-80), Chapter 5, “Stories of Transformation and Desire” (Pp. 80- 114).
  • Lindhardt, Martin. 2015. “Mediating Money: Materiality and Spiritual Warfare in Tanzanian Charismatic Christianity.” In The Anthropology of Global Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism. Simon Coleman and Rosalind I.J. Hackett, eds. (Pp. 147-160).

Week 9: Theoretical Interlude: What is Charisma?

Monday, October 31

  • Weber, Max. Economy and Society, Chapter 3, Pp. 241-254; 266-271.

Wednesday, November 2

  • Csordas, Thomas. 1997. Language, Charisma, and Creativity: The Ritual Life of a Religious Movement. Chapter 5 “Toward a Rhetorical Theory of Charisma,” (Pp. 133- 154).

Week 10: Test Cases of Charisma in Contemporary Charismatic/Pentecostal Churches

Monday, November 7

  • Bialecki, Jon. 2016. Apostolic Networks in the Third Wave of the Spirit: John Wimber and the Vineyard. Pneuma 38(1-2): 23-32.
  • Wignall, Ross. 2016. ‘A man after god’s own heart’: Charisma, Masculinity and Leadership at a Charismatic Church in Brighton and Hove, UK. Religion 46:3: 389-411.

Wednesday, November 9

  • Kirsch, Thomas J. 2014. “The Precarious Center: Religious Leadership Among African Christians.” Religion and Society. 5: Pp. 47-64.

Week 11: Exorcism

Monday, November 14

  • Werbner, Richard. 2011. Holy Hustlers, Schism, and Prophecy: Apostolic Reformation in Botswana. “Introduction” (Pp. 1-18), Chapter 1 “Holy Hustling” (Pp. 21-42), Chapter 6 “Personal Nearness and Sincerity in Prayer” (Pp. 119-131), Chapter 7 “Diagnosis, Reconnaissance, and Fabrication” (Pp. 132-163).

Wednesday, November 16

  • In-Class Film: Richard Werbner: Holy Hustlers. 2009. Botswana. English

Week 12



Week 13: Healing of Memories
Monday, November 28

  • Csordas, Thomas J. 1996. “Imaginal Performance and Memory in Ritual Healing.” In The Performance of Healing, edited by Carol Laderman and Marina Roseman (Pp. 91- 113).
  • Luhrmann, Tanya. 2013. “Making God Real and Making God Good: Some Mechanisms through which Prayer May Contribute to Healing.” Transcultural Psychiatry: 50 (5): 707- 725.

Wednesday, November 30

  • Loustau, Marc R. 2016. “Risking a Miracle: Transcendentally Oriented Improvisation and Catholic Charismatics’ Involvement in a Transylvanian Canonization.” Journal of Contemporary Religion (31) 3: 335–350.

Week 14: Charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity and HIV/AIDS
Monday, December 5

  • Boyd, Lydia. 2015. Preaching Prevention: Born-Again Christianity and the Moral Politics of AIDS in Uganda. Introduction “The Politics and Antipolitics of Miracles,” (Pp. 1-26), Chapter 1 “American Compassion and the Politics of AIDS Prevention in Loustau – Charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity – 8 Uganda,” (Pp. 27-54), Chapter 2 “AIDS at Home: Urbanization, Religious Change, and the Politics of the Household in Twentieth-and Twenty-First-Century Uganda (Pp. 55- 78).

Wednesday, December 7

  • Boyd, Lydia. 2015. Preaching Prevention: Born-Again Christianity and the Moral Politics of AIDS in Uganda. Chapter 4 “‘Abstinence Is for Me, How about You?’”: The Meaning and Morality of Sex” (Pp. 79-105), Chapter 5 “Abstinence and the Healthy Body: Spiritual Frameworks for Health and Healing, or ‘The Right Way to Live Long’” (Pp. 106-130).