Medina and Alfaro (eds), “Pentecostals and Charismatics in Latin America and Latino Communities”

Medina, Néstor and Sammy Alfaro, eds. 2015. Pentecostals and Charismatics in Latin America and Latino Communities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Publisher’s Description: This book investigates the social, cultural, intersecting concerns and challenges faced by Pentecostal-charismatics in Latin America and among Latinos in the United States and Canada, groups that share profound roots. Contributors highlight the interweaving of renewal theological traditions with various other disciplines, including ethics, sociology, history, political theory, and migration studies. They also discuss the asynchronous historical grounding and emergence of Pentecostal-charismatic movements with multiple and diverse international connections and expressions, providing a fuller portrait of the complexities and interrelated nature of renewal movements across the globe. In contrast to other collections, Pentecostals and Charismatics in Latin America and Latino Communities brings together practitioners and academics with Pentecostal-charismatic affiliations, who are able to analyze movements among these communities from within.


Introduction: Néstor Medina and Sammy Alfaro


1. The power of the Spirit and the Indigenization of the Church: A Latin American Perspective; Juan Sepúlveda

2. Christian Renewal and the Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement in Venezuela; Jody B. Fleming

3. Towards a Transformative Latin American Pentecostal-Charismatic Social Ethic: An Argentine Perspective; Ryan Gladwin


4. Translating Pentecost into Social Engagement in El Salvador: Community Service as a New and Contested Ritual; Ronald Todd Bueno

5. ¡No más violencia! Pentecostal Theological Reflections on Violence in Honduras; Daniel Alvarez

6. Revivalism as Revolutionary, Reaction or Remote?: Pentecostal Political Heterogeneity in Sandinista Nicaragua; Calvin Smith

7. Transnationalism and the Pentecostal Salvadoran Church: A Case Study of Misión Cristiana Elim; Robert A. Danielson


8. Between Two Worlds: Multigenerational and Multilingual Hispanic Youth Ministry in the USA; Daniel A. Rodríguez

9. Catholic Mysticism, Charismatics and Renewal; Neomi DeAnda

10. The Social Impact of the 1916 Pentecostal Revival in Puerto Rico; Jenniffer Contreras Flores


11. Blessed are the Prosperous but Woe to the Weak: The Influence of Socio-Economic Status to Biblical hermeneutics; Esa Autero

12. Latin American Liberation and Renewal Theology: A Pneumatological Dialogue; Brandon Kertson

13. Liberating the Church: A Latino/a Pentecostal Response to the McDonaldization Process; Wilmer Estrada-Carrasquillo

14. Toward a Pentecostal Political Theology: Augustine and the Latin American Context; Eric Patterson

Conclusion; Néstor Medina and Sammy Alfaro

Flores, “God’s Gangs”

Flores, Edward Orozco. 2013. God’s Gangs: Barrio Ministry, Masculinity, and Gang Recovery. New York: NYU Press.

Release Date: December 11, 2013

Publisher’s Description: Los Angeles is the epicenter of the American gang problem. Rituals and customs from Los Angeles’ eastside gangs, including hand signals, graffiti, and clothing styles, have spread to small towns and big cities alike. Many see the problem with gangs as related to urban marginality—for a Latino immigrant population struggling with poverty and social integration, gangs offer a close-knit community. Yet, as Edward Orozco Flores argues in God’s Gangs, gang members can be successfully redirected out of gangs through efforts that change the context in which they find themselves, as well as their notions of what it means to be a man.  Flores here illuminates how Latino men recover from gang life through involvement in urban, faith-based organizations. Drawing on participant observation and interviews with Homeboy Industries, a Jesuit-founded non-profit that is one of the largest gang intervention programs in the country, and with Victory Outreach, a Pentecostal ministry with over 600 chapters, Flores demonstrates that organizations such as these facilitate recovery from gang life by enabling gang members to reinvent themselves as family men and as members of their community. The book offers a window into the process of redefining masculinity. As Flores convincingly shows, gang members are not trapped in a cycle of poverty and marginality. With the help of urban ministries, such men construct a reformed barrio masculinity to distance themselves from gang life.

Hansen, “Pharmaceutical Evangelicalism and Spiritual Capitalism”

Hansen, Helena. 2013. “Pharmaceutical Evangelicalism and Spiritual Capitalism: An American Tale of Two Communities of Addicted Selves.” In Addiction Trajectories, edited by Eugene Raikhel and William Garriott, 108-125. Durham: Duke University Press. 

Excerpt: “This contrast is highlighted by two clips that aired on television in the early 200os, one representing a faith-based concept of addiction treatment and the other an office-based opiate maintenance concept of treatment. The first is a public service announcement by the Partnership for a Drug Free Puerto Rico, which opens with a weathered Latino man in a tattered T-shirt who asks drivers at an intersection for change. He enters a dark stairway, takes coins out of his pocket, puts them on a table, and rolls up his sleeves, apparently to inject drugs. The camera pans out to reveal that he is actually in a church, placing coins in a donation basket and freeing his arms for prayer in front of a great cross . . . The second television clip is from the HBO special series Addiction. It profiles a young white couple in Maine who are starting buprenorphine maintenance as a treatment for their OxyContin dependence . . . In this chapter, I trace the origins of these apparently divergent narratives, then follow their logics to an unexpected convergence. The individualist focus of the characters in both clips on their personal, inner states – formerly addicted evangelist and biomedically maintained – belies the degree to which substances, spiritual or molecular, are the medium for new, imagined global collectivities in which ex-addicts are pharmaceutically maintained addicts place themselves. To generate these collectivities, pharmaceutical manufacturers and prescribers engage in medical evangelism – testimonials and ritual consecration of molecular technology as the source of salvation – while evangelist addiction ministries market moral authority through membership in a virtual spiritual network to socially displaced postindustrial consumers.”


Martinez, Juan Francisco. 2013. Remittances and Mission: Transnational Latino Pentecostal Ministry in Los Angeles. In Spirit and Power: The Growth and Global Impact of Pentecostalism, Donald E. Miller, Kimon H. Sargeant, and Richard Flory, eds, 204-224. Oxford: Oxford University Press.