Cover of Savio Abreu: Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames

Savio Abreu Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames

A Sociological Study of New Christian Movements in Contemporary Goa

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Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity is one of the largest religious movements in the world today. It is a recent form of Christianity that emphasizes direct personal experience of God through baptism with the Holy Spirit. While the literature on Pentecostalism is constantly rising, they mostly focus on Western societies and are from a theological perspective. There is a dearth of well-researched studies that critically analyse the phenomenon of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity in India. Addressing this gap, Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames focuses on groups at the periphery of the religious space in Goa, while locating them within Christianity globally. It broadens our understanding of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity in Goa as a rapidly expanding and overtly evangelistic movement within a pluralist, non-Christian society. Abreu assesses the impact of religion on society, analysing how the symbols, beliefs, rituals, and organizational structure of the neo-Pentecostal sects and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal influence religious identities, world views, and the everyday life activities of individual adherents. This the author does by drawing on extensive fieldwork, concepts, analyses, and interpretations provided by scholars of religion in sociology, anthropology, history, as well as theology.

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