Abstract

abstract:

One of the key reasons that Pentecostal Christianity has grown so rapidly since its inception around the twentieth century is because of its emphasis on embodied spirituality. When believers are "filled" with the Holy Spirit, every emotion experienced is understood as Spirit-directed. This affective faith led hundreds of early Pentecostal missionaries to move around the world with the expectation that God would supernaturally impart them with the requisite language skills and financial support, and embodied affectivity continues to animate the global Pentecostal movement today. In this essay, I focus on the emotion "righteous anger," which I argue is inextricably tied to rather than opposed to Spirit-filled love. I begin by exploring Pentecostal embodiment, accentuating Pentecostal worship and practice that is infused with ardent feelings, sensations, and emotionality. Indeed, Spirit-filled love repudiates indifference; consequently, injustice, which is attributed to the demonic, is confronted with the same passion and emotionalism (i.e., righteous anger). For pentecostals, the demonic is active in the world, causing destruction, and it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that evil can be defeated. Finally, I compare Pentecostal righteous anger with Buddhist compassion, suggesting that there is room for mutual growth and development within these positions for dealing with injustice. Righteous anger empowers individuals to act with immediacy, responding to needs quickly and enthusiastically. Buddhist compassion strengthens righteous anger by transforming the impassioned energy into a sustainable, steadfast energy that is necessary for actual change. Thus, the Holy Spirit, like the wind, moves gently and fiercely, filled with compassion and righteous anger.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9472
Print ISSN
0882-0945
Pages
pp. 37-51
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-08
Open Access
No
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