Pentecostal and Charismatic studies

Dr Mark Cartledge discusses his research.

Title: Pentecostal and Charismatic studies
Duration: 2.34 mins

My name is Mark Cartledge, I work in the Theology and Religion department where I'm a senior lecturer.  I'm interested in the study of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity.  I've been studying these kind of Christians for many years starting way back in the 1980s and my initial projects were interested in inspired speech and for example prophesy, all kinds of things people do when they prophesize and the kind of practices that you find in churches today.

And because I'm interested in a contemporary side of Christianity I've been using empirical research methods to map out the beliefs, the values and the religious pratcices found in those communities.  And so that really puts me in a kind of dicipline of practical theology because I'm interested in theology in practice, so how it's lived out in the real world if you like.

Subsequently I've developed a variety of different interests, spirituality, so I've written a book on Pentecostal Charismatic spirituality.  My recent project I've just finished the latest work - has been on a congregational study about a particular church in Birmingham which is a very multicultural church, and is a classical Pentecostal church, assemblies of God. And that project was really inrterested in trying to map out the theology from below - the beliefs and the practices of people in the pews if you like, and trying to engage in a conversation with broader Christian tradition in relation to their beliefs and values.

My current research project is a funded project with the Templar Foundation from the US, and its really a study about the concept of love within Pentecostalism and what kind of benevolent action that leads to among Pentecostals.  So I'm working with colleagues from Tennessee and we're doing a question, a survey of a particualr denomination to see in what ways this love is socialised or learned within the contexts of the tradition.

I'm currently the Director for the Centre of Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies here at the Universty of Birmingham and we have about 30 research students from all over the world - they come to us from Africa, from Asia, from Europe, and also North America.  So if you are interested in research and research with us here at Birmingham we'd love to hear from you so please do visit our website, and you can find out more about what we do there.  So, would be great to hear from you.