Marshall, “‘Navajo Reservation Camp Meeting a Great Success!'”

Marshall, Kimberly Jenkins.  2015. “Navajo Reservation Camp Meeting a Great Success!”The Advent of Diné Pentecostalism after 1950.  Ethnohistory 62(1): 95-117.

Abstract: Christianity has experienced dramatic growth among Navajos since 1950, and the exclusive practice of neo-Pentecostal Christianity can now, by some estimates, claim up to 20 percent of the Navajo population. The popularity of neo-Pentecostalism among Navajos has been attributed to cultural and economic stress put on Navajos after 1950. In this article, however, I situate the development of neo-Pentecostal faith among Navajos within the broader national movement of the Healing Revival that breathed new life into American Pentecostalism in the 1950s. I explore the two primary paths of contact between Navajos and the Healing Revival: visits to the “Miracle Revivals” of A. A. Allen in southern Arizona and attendance at charismatic healing revival meetings on the Navajo Nation. I argue that these two interrelated encounters facilitated Navajo ownership of Christianity through the encouragement of “anointed” Navajo leadership and the establishment of broad Pentecostal networks.