CFP: Charismatic Renewal in Historical Perspective, 1950-2000

Charismatic renewal in historical perspective, c.1950 –2000
Dates: September 13-14, 2016. 
Venue: Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. 

Amongst the post-war Christian movements for renewal, revival or reform, charismatic renewal (sometimes known as neo-Pentecostalism or the ‘second wave’) has been highly significant. Expanding rapidly it displayed various denominational and national trajectories but also ecumenical and transnational networks. Its influence was felt within the historic ‘mainline’ Churches, where it became more or less welcome. It also resulted in new denominations and expressions of church, and in some places new theological, organizational and practical emphases. Taking root within both evangelical and ‘sacramental’ Christianity, its characteristics included Pentecostal experiences and gifts; ecumenical engagement; fresh expressions of worship, liturgy, music and creative arts; radical approaches to community life. From a contemporary vantage point, the movement has been transformative in a variety of denominational and geographical contexts: it has contributed to a fresh and vibrant stream of Christianity, including within global traditions such as Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism.

Despite the historical importance of this diverse movement, relatively few historians of religion have engaged substantively with it. What has been meant by ‘renewal’ as an emic term and etic category? Indeed, was there a coherent charismatic renewal ‘movement’?  What has been its relationship with society and culture? How did theologies and practices change over time? What was the significance of different leaders, organisations, networks or grassroots manifestations?

This conference invites historically-based research papers on all aspects of the charismatic renewal between c. 1950 and 2000. Possible topics might include its:
  • Emergences and antecedents;
  • Historiographies; hagiographies; narratives and ‘myths’;
  • Relationships with Pentecostals/Pentecostalism, healing and revivalist movements;
  • Denominational or ecumenical national and transnational networks;
  • Trajectories within denominations (locally, nationally, and transnationally);
  • Internal (e.g. Shepherding movement) or external (e.g. cessationist) controversies; 
  • Theologies and spiritualities; integration with rites and patterns of worship;
  • Connection to indigenizing and synthesizing practices and theologies
  • Embodiments and practices;
  • Materialities; engagement with culture and the arts;
  • Attitudes towards gender and sexuality;
  • Use of aural and visual media.
Speakers include: David Bebbington, Mark Hutchinson, Larry Eskridge, Connie Ho Yan Au, John Maiden, Andrew Atherstone. We welcome proposals for papers (20 minutes). Please send proposals (250 words max) to by 8 April 2016. 

Cost: £75/person (including food, accommodation), £50 for post-graduate students. Information on alternative rates available on request. Please send initial booking enquiries to


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