Professor Allan Anderson BTh, MA, MTh, DTh

Professor Allan Anderson

Department of Theology and Religion
Emeritus Professor of Mission and Pentecostal Studies

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I research the areas of history, theology and mission studies relating to the global Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, with some concentration on the history of these movements in Africa and Asia, and the history of world Christianity.


BTh, MA, MTh, DTh (University of South Africa, 1992)


I was born in London but raised in Zimbabwe, completing my higher education and first theological appointments in South Africa. I was a minister, principal of Tshwane Theological College near Pretoria and part-time researcher at the University of South Africa before joining Selly Oak Colleges as Director of the Centre for New Religious Movements in 1995, becoming an honorary lecturer and, from 1999, a lecturer at the University of Birmingham. I was awarded a Chair in 2005. I retired in December 2019, when I was also given the Emeritus title.

My main interests are in the areas of the history, mission and theology of Pentecostalism in Africa and Asia. I am the author of five books on South African Pentecostalism, one on African independent churches, and three books on global Pentecostalism that have received international acclaim. My Introduction to Pentecostalism has been translated and published in Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish and Korean, and now has a second edition.

I am also the author of many articles, and have joint-edited five collections on Pentecostalism. I was editor of the peer-reviewed journal published at Equinox, PentecoStudies. I am a founder-member of the European Research Network on Global Pentecostalism which conducts research in European universities, and I also serve on the international editorial board of five academic journals. I am an internationally well-known scholar in my field.


My main research is in the areas of Pentecostal history and intercultural theology. My latest book is about the relationship between Pentecostalism and African popular religious ideas. I have also published a book on Pentecostalism in the global South in the prestigious series Oxford Studies in World Christianities. I have written nine monographs on African Christianity and global Pentecostalism, the latest being Spirit-Filled Word: Religious Dis/Continuity in African Pentecostalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, 2013), and To the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity (Oxford, 2013).

I have co-edited and written a chapter in Studying Global Pentecostalism: Theories and Methods (University of California Press, 2010); edited (with Walter J Hollenweger) and written three chapters of a volume entitled Pentecostals After a Century: Global Perspectives on a Movement in Transition (Sheffield Academic Press, 1999). With Edmond Tang, I have edited a volume on Asian Pentecostalism entitled Asian and Pentecostal: The Charismatic Face of Asian Christianity 2nd ed (Regnum, 2011).


Selected recent publictions

  • ‘Pentecostal Theology as a Global Challenge: Contextual Theological Constructions’, in Wolfgang Vondey (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Pentecostal Theology (Routledge, 2020), 18-28.
  • ‘Pentecostalism and Social, Political, and Economic Development’, Spiritus: ORU Journal of Theology 5:1 (2020), 121-136.
  •  ‘The European Protestant Reformation and Global Pentecostalism’, in Joe Aldred (ed.), Pentecostals and Charismatics in Britain: An Anthology (SCM Press, 2019), 137-149.
  • ‘Charismatic Churches and the Pentecostalization of African Christianity’, in Jehu J. Hanciles (ed.), The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions. Vol. IV: The Twentieth Century: Traditions in a Global Context (Oxford, 2019), 52-72.
  • Spirit-Filled Word: Religious Dis/Continuity in African Pentecostalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)
  • ‘The Holy Spirit in the Teaching of Yonggi Cho: Continuity or Change?’, Journal of Youngsan Theology 45 (2018), 7-37.
  • ‘Witchdemonology, Witchcraft and Deliverance in African Pentecostalism’, in Lord Elorm-Donkor & Clifton R, Clarke (eds.), African Pentecostal Missions Maturing (Wipf & Stock, 2018), 121-141.
  • ed., with Fanggang Yang & Joy Tong, Global Chinese Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity (Brill, 2017)
  • ‘Contextualization in Pentecostalism: A Multicultural Perspective’, in International Bulletin of Mission Research 41:1 (January 2017), 29-40.
  • ‘Pentecostalism in Southern Africa’, in Elias Kifori Bongmba (ed.), Routledge Companion to Christianity in Africa (Routledge, 2016), 317-330.
  • An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity (Cambridge, 2004, 2014)
  • To the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity (Oxford, 2013)