Journeys Through Pentecostal Subcultures: Hairstyles

We’re on vacation next week, this week, a brief curated view of the Pentecostal subculture in Oneness denominations that requires women not to cut their hair. There are literally dozens of websites, instructional videos, and doctrinal explanations for this practice.  For Apostolic women, this practice binds them together, creates a subculture within a subculture, sets them apart as unique.  For Oneness Pentecostals, who rely on their theological distinctiveness to assert their claims to orthodoxy as well as certainty, looking different–in… Read more

(Culture War) is Over-If You Want it…Please

We interrupt our trip through the Pentecostal subcultures for this post about today’s Supreme Court rulings, the entertaining curating through hairstyles will be back next time. People  get ready–for the End (of the Culture Wars) are/is at hand.  People do not act on faith alone, as if it had been dropped into their consciousness like some alien pod-like virus that inhabits them and takes them over until their natures disappear (Invasion of the Body Snatchers–the original, though the remake was… Read more

The Curious Life and Death (?) of William Branham

 One of the reasons Pentecostalism is both academically fascinating and personally invigorating is because of its ability for religious innovation. Its pneumatic drive make it a daring mix of high tension piety and effervescence (thank you Emile Durkheim). Independent evangelists have had more of a hand in crafting their own brand of Pentecostalism since they tend to be free of the denominational structures imposed by hierarchies whose survival depends on securing the borders of orthodox belief and practice. William Branham… Read more

A.A. Allen: “God’s Man of Faith and Power”

 One of the many obsessive habits that befall academics who live with their subjects too long is we get to know way too much about them, learning everything we can, visiting their birthplaces, where they are buried, interviewing people, all in an attempt to say we have uncovered as much as we can about said person. A.A. Allen is one of those people whom I have lived with for years and can’t seem to shake.  In the second installment of… Read more

Mark Driscoll, Will You Marry Me? Or Looking For Mr(s) Right at Christian (W)Life College

 Given last week’s heavy and well-received post on Rios Montt and Guatemala and given that summer is almost here, perhaps it’s time to lighten up…for the next few weeks, I’ll post some interesting things I’m finding in writing my new book, “Pentecostalism in America,” due out sometime in the near future with Columbia University Press.  This week recalls some trips to evangelical/Pentecostal bible colleges, where social dancing is prohibited, drinking is done off grounds and out of sight, relationships are… Read more

“Saving” Guatemala, Rios Montt & the Silence of Complicity

Probably because I am naturally a cynic, I was not surprised by the overturning of José Efraín Rios Montt’s conviction for genocide last week. I am even less surprised that those Pentecostals, prominent celebrity preachers among others said nothing about this sad human rights tragedy.  There seems to be such selective memory among certain sectors of American Pentecostalism, that they never have to apologize or say they were wrong–even if  they’re wrong alot–about alot–and they just keep talking.  The political… Read more

Corazón Sagrado meets El Espíritu Santo

On my way back from my one-year stint at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, I stopped by El Santuario de Chimayo–the most famous healing shrine in the U.S. http://www.elsantuariodechimayo.us/ Visiting a healing shrine was the last item on my agenda, since I had been talking about healing for weeks at Perkins. The idea that healing is part of the Christian tradition across most denominations, the selective nature of healing–and how healing itself is culturally bound by what we are… Read more

Love In A Time of Paranoia: A DREAMER’s Story

I resist writing about immigration and the current debate over long-overdue reforms, for many reasons,  probably because I don’t want to be typecast as another Latina who has a secret trove of knowledge on the subject, as some in the media and academia seem to believe since we are asked to comment on it constantly and usually end up offering something in the way of an informed opinion. Though as a 3rd generation Mexican American, the Sánchez family has not… Read more

The Changing Face of Latino/a Evangélicos

Welcoming a new voice in the study of Latino/a Religion–South Texas’ own Felipe Hinojosa is a Tejano and a Mennonite, and a fabulous conversation partner on all things from academia, politics & Latino/a history…He is an Assistant Professor of History at Texas A&M University. He has a forthcoming article titled “¡Medicina Si, Muerte No!: Race, Public Health, and the ‘Long War on Poverty’ in Mathis, Texas, 1948-1971” to be published in the Winter 2013 issue of the Western Historical Quarterly…. Read more

Pentecostalism’s Long Road To Ruin?

         I have not attended a Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS) meeting in 4 years.I resigned from the society before I became president in 2009. This society is where I first met many of my colleagues, whom I sure wonder from time to time—“just what kind of Pentecostal are you?” That’s fine; I like to keep people guessing. I will not reiterate why I left that society but it seems that the long game some traditionalists have… Read more