CHARISMATIC RENEWAL AND THE CHURCHES by Kilian McDonnell

CHARISMATIC RENEWAL AND THE CHURCHES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Despite the title's suggestion that this is yet another general study of Charismatic Renewal, it is actually a dissertation-like survey of sociological and psychological studies of charismatics and speaking in tongues. Pr. McDonnell, a liturgical theologian and adviser to the Catholic hierarchy, basically shows that social scientific research is gradually coming to concede that glossolalia and other charisms of the Spirit can be part of a healthy religious life and are not primarily by-products of alienation and neurosis. The consensus now is that socioeconomic deprivation and social disorder are contributing factors to Pentecostal participation but rarely determinants. Most research from 1910 to 1966 took Pentecostals to be marginal people to be studied within abnormal psychology, but more recent studies have found charismatics (now that the movement has become middle class and mainstream) to be fairly normal (if vaguely suspicious) religious enthusiasts. The Churches too have largely come around to accepting charismatic activity as a valid dimension of Christian practice. Though the book digests a mass of material, its composition is slipshod and its specialized content of chiefly professional interest.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Seabury