Christian Peoples of the Spirit

A Documentary History of Pentecostal Spirituality from the Early Church to the Present

323 pages

July, 2011

ISBN: 9780814799987



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Stanley M. Burgess is Distinguished Professor of Christian History at Regent University and Professor Emeritus, Missouri State University. He is author or editor of several books, including The Holy Spirit: Medieval Roman Catholic and Reformation Traditions and The Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements.

All books by Stanley M. Burgess

Among all groups in Christendom, the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement is second in size only to the Roman Catholic Church, with growth that shows no signs of abatement. Its adherents declare the Pentecostal Movement, which began at Azusa Street in 1906, to be unprecedented in Christian history since the first century of the Church in its embrace of manifestations of the Holy Spirit such as divine healing, miracles, and speaking in tongues. Yet although it may be unprecedented in size and rate of growth, Stanley M. Burgess argues that is hardly unprecedented in concept. In Christian Peoples of the Spirit, Burgess collects documentary evidence for two thousand years of individuals and groups who have evidenced Pentecostal/charismatic-like spiritual giftings, worship, and experience.

The documents in this collection, bolstered by concise editorial introductions, offer the original writings of a wide variety of “peoples of the spirit,” from Tertullian and Antony of the Desert to the Shakers and Sunder Singh, as well as of their enemies or detractors. Though virtually all of the parties in this volume considered themselves Spirit-gifted, or given special qualities by God, they are in many ways as different from one another as the cultures from which they have emerged. In providing such an impressive array of voices, Burgess convincingly demonstrates that there have indeed been Spirit-filled worship and charismatic saints in all periods of church history.


  • “Stanley Burgess, the great Encyclopedist of Pentecostalism, has given us yet another priceless resource in Christian Peoples of the Spirit: A Documentary Reader. I highly recommend this book.”

    —Vinson Synan, author of The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century

  • “A remarkable collection of texts from the first century to the present, uncovering the roots and widening the horizons of modern Pentecostalism. From this work emerges a varied yet noble legacy of repeated encounters with the power and the gifts of a living God. A superb new resource for the study of contemporary Pentecostal and charismatic movements.”

    —J. Ramsey Michaels, author of Interpreting the Book of Revelation