The pneuma network: Transnational pentecostal print culture in the United States and South Africa, 1906-1948

Lindsey Brooke Maxwell, Florida International University


Exploding on the American scene in 1906, Pentecostalism became arguably the most influential religious phenomenon of the twentieth century. Sparked by the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, the movement grew rapidly throughout the United States and garnered global momentum. This study investigates the original Los Angeles Apostolic Faith Mission and the subsequent extension of the mission to South Africa through an examination of periodicals, mission records, and personal documents. Using the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa as a case study, this study measures the significance of print media in the emergence and evolution of the early Pentecostal movement. Based on historical analysis of more than 260 issues of the mission’s periodical, “The Comforter and Messenger of Hope,” this dissertation demonstrates how the publication served a variety of functions critical to the establishment of Pentecostalism in South Africa. As a work of cultural history, it situates the periodical within larger trends in South African culture and society. It illustrates how the periodical functioned simultaneously at the local and international level to standardize Pentecostal discourse and formulate an early Pentecostal identity. Finally, this dissertation argues that Pentecostal periodicals formed a transnational network of Pentecostal thought, connections, and support in the early twentieth century that influenced the development of Pentecostalism in the South African context.

Subject Area

Religion|African history|American history|South African Studies

Recommended Citation

Maxwell, Lindsey Brooke, "The pneuma network: Transnational pentecostal print culture in the United States and South Africa, 1906-1948" (2016). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI10289548.