The baptism of the Holy Spirit : a study of the meaning of religious experience

Mariann June Catherine Lythgoe
This study is of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a religious experience popularly known as speaking in tongues. Our concern is with its role as a transforming experience in the lives of those who witness to it. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, while deeply embedded in Christian tradition, has until recently been a relatively rare phenomenon. There is currently a marked increase in its occurrence. The sample selected for the purpose of this study consists of ten respondents, of whom five are
more » ... whom five are members of the Pentecostal assembly while five are associated with other established denominations but testify to the experience of the baptism. Most are people of professional status who are in their middle years. That this is so may in itself be indicative of the characteristics of the contemporary upsurge of the experience. The interviews were tape recorded and transcribed. As little direction as possible was given by the interviewer in an effort to glean information that was a voluntary response on the part of the individual and free from the distortion of interpretation. The interviewee was introduced to the general concern of the study and asked to relate his experience and as much of his background as he felt was significant in pointing him toward his spiritual destiny. All information given was regarded as significant and was not edited in transcription. The study begins with a review of certain theoretical observations which provide a framework for the work. Chapter II provides an overall introduction to past and present expressions of the phenomenon, to its theological origins and significance, to an attempted delineation and definition of the experience, and to a description of a typical charismatic service of worship that creates a public context for the experience. Chapter III introduces the respondents and traces their spiritual careers. These careers may be seen in terms of a number of paths, ranging in complexity, via which the people move from a point of entry to a point of spiritual destiny. At various place [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0102259 fatcat:fws3axwkoncmdlsdohyifuvusq