Anderson, Allan 1949–
Anderson, Allan 1949–
(Allan Heaton Anderson)
Born 1949, in London, England; son of Keith (a Salvation Army officer) and Gwen (a Salvation Army officer) Anderson; married Olwen Brooke, 1979; children: Matthew, Tami. Education: Attended Bethel Bible College, Vereeniging, South Africa, 1971-73; University of South Africa, Pretoria, B.Th., 1985, M.Th., 1990, D.Th., 1992. Religion: Charismatic Christian.
Home—Birmingham, England. Office—Graduate Institute for Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, Elmfield House, 996 Bristol Rd., Birmingham B29 6LG, England. E-mail—[email protected]
Theologian, educator, and author. Minister in South Africa, 1973-95; founder and principal of Tshwane Theological College, South Africa, 1988-95; University of South Africa, Pretoria, Pentecostalism Project of the Research Institute for Theology and Religions, part-time researcher, 1989-95; University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England, professor of global Pentecostal studies and director of Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies, 1995—, director of Graduate Institute of Theology and Religion, 2006—. Founding member, Steering Group of the European Research Network on Global Pentecostalism.
International Association for Mission Studies, European Pentecostal Theological Association, Society for Pentecostal Studies, Southern African Missiological Society.
Moya: The Holy Spirit in an African Context, University of South Africa (Pretoria, South Africa), 1991.
Bazalwane: African Pentecostals in South Africa, University of South Africa (Pretoria, South Africa), 1992.
Tumelo: The Faith of African Pentecostals in South Africa, University of South Africa (Pretoria, South Africa), 1993.
(Editor, with Walter J. Hollenweger) Pentecostals after a Century, Sheffield Academic Press (Sheffield, England), 1999.
Zion and Pentecost: The Spirituality and Experience of Pentecostal and Zionist/Apostolic Churches in South Africa, University of South Africa Press (Pretoria, South Africa), 2000.
African Reformation: African Initiated Christianity in the 20th Century, Africa World Press (Trenton, NJ), 2001.
(Editor, with Edmond Tang) Asian and Pentecostal: The Charismatic Face of Christianity in Asia, APTS Press (Oxford, England), 2005.
Spreading Fires: The Missionary Nature of Early Pentecostalism, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 2007.
Editorial board member of the Journal of Pentecostal Theology, PentecoStudies, and Missionalia.
Allan Anderson is the author of numerous books on Pentecostalism throughout the world, including such works as Zion and Pentecost: The Spirituality and Experience of Pentecostal and Zionist/Apostolic Churches in South Africa, African Reformation: African Initiated Christianity in the 20th Century, An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity, Asian and Pentecostal: The Charismatic Face of Christianity in Asia, and Spreading Fires: The Missionary Nature of Early Pentecostalism.
Born in London, England, in 1949, Anderson is the son of Salvation Army officers whose families had long histories of missionary work. Anderson moved with his parents to Africa in 1953, living in Zimbabwe (then known as Rhodesia) until 1971. He then attended the University of South Africa, ultimately earning a doctorate of theology. Thereafter, Anderson served as a minister as well as a founder of a theological college. In 1995, after more than two decades in South Africa, Anderson returned to England to join the Birmingham University faculty.
Anderson's numerous theological works have been well received. Many of these publications deal with the history of the Pentecostal church in South Africa. His Zion and Pentecost, something of an update of his earlier Bazalwane: African Pentecostals in South Africa, is based on field work done in the 1990s in Soshanguve. Here Anderson demonstrates how South African Pentecostal and Zionist churches both compete with and accommodate one another. According to International Bulletin of Missionary Research contributor J.G. Donders, Anderson "provides a spirited overview of the context, significance, and growth of the resulting church communities, comparing their worship, liturgies, preaching, and development."
Anderson's African Reformation is a survey and overview of independent churches throughout Sub-Saharan Africa that blend elements of Christianity and pre-Christian African belief systems and religion. The author provides brief histories of these churches, along with their beliefs, teachings, traditions, and ways of worship. He examines so-called "Spirit," or faith-healing churches, along with new Pentecostal and Charismatic churches from later in the twentieth century. Writing in the Journal of African History, Paul Gifford felt that Anderson "is very good on the ways these churches have absorbed African culture, especially diviners and ancestors." Gifford further noted that the author "is also very good on the relation of this African phenomenon to worldwide Pentecostalism." The same critic went on to conclude: "This is a book that sheds genuine light on its subject. It is an object lesson that sympathy with one's subject matter need not distort scholarship but can enhance it."
In An Introduction to Pentecostalism, "Anderson writes an engaging and provocative critique of worldwide Pentecostalism that attempts to understand the diversity of forms and expressions of the movement," according to Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies reviewer Michael Wilkinson. In order to accomplish this task, Wilkinson noted that Anderson "systematically organizes the available data on Pentecostalism to tell a convincing story of a movement coming to terms with its origins, theologies, histories, social qualities, and multicultural expressions." Wilkinson considered An Introduction to Pentecostalism "an important contribution for scholars of global Pentecostalism." Also writing in the Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, David D. Daniels III called the book "a great feat," and further com- mented that Anderson's book "ranks among the most significant texts on global Pentecostalism." For Russell P. Spittler, writing in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, An Introduction to Pentecostalism "offers an up-to-date survey of the kaleidoscopic nature of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements." Spittle went on observe: "This volume is the place to begin if one is searching for a single-volume introduction to Pentecostalism." Further praise came from Interpretation reviewer Samuel Solivan, who wrote that Anderson's book "presents multicultural, multinational, and sociopolitical perspectives often unattended, ignored, or overshadowed by the history and folklore in much of North American Pentecostal literature." Solivan also noted: "This book reflects the global character of the church's multi-ethnic, multilingual, multinational, and gender-inclusive life and mission."
Working as editor with Edmond Tang, Anderson published Asian and Pentecostal in 2005. Here his survey of Pentecostalism focuses on the Asian land-mass in a collection of twenty-six essays surveying the state of Charismatic Christianity. The mostly Asian contributors present the face of this fast-spreading religion in Asia. Anne E. Dyer, writing for the Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association, felt that "Anderson aims the book for the academic community and yet manages to offer papers that will also be of interest to any church and mission leader in Asia." Dyer added: "It would be a pity if those leaders did not read it." Dyer also pointed out: "The book brings up ethical and ecumenical contributions that are potentially new to many, at least Western, Pentecostals." These include the use of shamanism among other ancient beliefs. Dyer concluded: "Anderson and Tang's intentions have been achieved as comprehensively as possible while allowing for many more questions to be posed and answered in future as to the way." Writing in the Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies, Ekaputra Tupamahu offered further praise for Asian and Pentecostal, noting that he "would strongly recommend this book to seminarians, pastors and Christian workers who are interested in knowing more about the development and issues surrounding Pentecostalism in Asia."
Anderson's 2007 title Spreading Fires is an examination of early Pentecostalism, specifically during the first two decades of the twentieth century. He discusses not only the manner in which it originated—in part out of late-nineteenth-century healing movements—but also traces the influence of colonialism in the religion's global aspects. Anderson offers the stories of missionaries throughout the world in this early stage of the religion, from China to Latin America and Africa. The author also discusses the importance of the missionary nature of Pentecostalism on the modern church. Reviewing this work in the International Review of Mission, Jeffrey Gros remarked: "We can be grateful for this massive, if initial exploration and remain expectant of more research that will build on this contribution in this important field."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies, January, 2006, Ekaputra Tupamahu, review of Asian and Pentecostal: The Charismatic Face of Christianity in Asia, January, 2006, p. 163.
Choice, January 1, 2005, D. Jacobsen, review of An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity, p. 868.
Church History, March 1, 2006, Edith L. Blumhofer, review of An Introduction to Pentecostalism, p. 238.
Evangelical Review of Theology, January, 2008, George W. Harper, review of Asian and Pentecostal, p. 89.
International Bulletin of Missionary Research, July 1, 2001, J.G. Donders, review of Zion and Pentecost: The Spirituality and Experience of Pentecostal and Zionist/Apostolic Churches in South Africa, p. 131; January 1, 2005, Russell P. Spittler, review of An Introduction to Pentecostalism, p. 46.
International Journal of African Historical Studies, March 22, 1997, Irving Hexham, reviews of Bazalwane: African Pentecostals in South Africa, Tumelo: The Faith of African Pentecostals in South Africa, and Moya: The Holy Spirit in an African Context, p. 482; March 22, 2001, Deborah Gaitskell, review of Zion and Pentecost, p. 442.
International Review of Mission, January 1, 2007, Jeffrey Gros, review of Spreading Fires: The Missionary Nature of Early Pentecostalism.
Interpretation, July 1, 2006, Samuel Solivan, review of An Introduction to Pentecostalism, p. 356.
Journal of African History, October 1, 2003, Paul Gifford, review of African Reformation: African Initiated Christianity in the 20th Century, p. 547.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, January 1, 2006, David Maxwell, review of An Introduction to Pentecostalism, p. 193.
Journal of Religion, October 1, 2006, Roger G. Robins, review of An Introduction to Pentecostalism, p. 682.
Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association, Volume 26, number 2, 2006, Anne E. Dyer, review of Asian and Pentecostal, p. 185.
Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, fall, 2006, David D. Daniels III, review of An Introduction to Pentecostalism, p. 275, and Michael Wilkinson, review of An Introduction to Pentecostalism, p. 278.
Reviews in Religion and Theology, January, 2007, D.E. Mills, Jr., review of Asian and Pentecostal, p. 21.
Times Literary Supplement, August 6, 2004, David Martin, review of An Introduction to Pentecostalism, p. 28.
University of Birmingham Theology Department Web site,http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/ (April 10, 2008), author profile.
University of Southern California Web site,http://www.usc.edu/ (April 10, 2008), author profile.