Valente, “Institutional Explanations for the Decline of the Congregação Cristã no Brasil”

Valente, Rubia R. 2015. Institutional Explanations for the Decline of the Congregação Cristã no Brasil.  PentecoStudies 14(1).

Abstract: For the first time since its inception, the Congregação Cristã no Brasil (CCB) has lost members – two hundred thousand members in the last decade – while other traditional Pentecostal churches’ membership continue to grow. Based on survey research data, this study explores the diverse views of church members and how institutional factors affect the growth of the church. Two opposing views among church members are identified: fundamentalism and progressivism. Besides providing empirical data, this work engages a wider debate on how the strict nature of the CCB leadership, based on a traditional authoritarian model, is unwilling to adapt to cultural and social changes, giving rise to discontent, tensions, and schisms.

Robbins, “How Do Religions End?”

Robbins, Joel.  2014.  How Do Religions End?: Theorizing Religious Traditions from the Point of View of How They Disappear.  Cambridge Anthropology 32(2): 2-15.

Abstract: What does it mean for a new religion to arise or take hold among a group of people? What does it mean for a religious tradition to endure? These are questions that are quite commonly addressed, at least implicitly, in the study of religion. Less frequently asked is the question of what it means for a religious tradition to come to an end. This article addresses this question, paying particular attention to the ways people actively dismantle a religious tradition that previously shaped their lives. I also consider what studying the process of religious disappearance can teach us about what it means for a tradition to arise and endure, arguing that a grasp on processes of religious dissolution is necessary for a fully rounded approach to the study of religious change. Throughout the article, I illustrate my arguments with material from the study of Christianity, Judaism and indigenous religious traditions, particularly from Oceania.