Charismatic Movement
An interdenominational Christian renewal movement that
began in the 1960s and has developed an international following,
especially among members of the Roman Catholic church.
It takes its name from the Greek word charisma, meaning
‘‘gifts,’’ and emphasizes manifestations of the gifts of the Holy
Spirit as described in First Corinthians, chapter 12, as a sign of
the presence of the Holy Spirit. The movement began among
members of the Full Gospel Businessman’s Fellowship, an independent
Pentecostal brotherhood, but quickly spread to
Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant churches throughout
the United States. There was controversy over whether its elements
were based on genuine expressions of worship or impassioned
outbursts of emotion. For a time, charismatic preachers
were labeled as charlatans, and worshippers displaying charismatic
expressions were ridiculed and dismissed as ignorant or
unbalanced. By the early 1970s it had spread to Europe and
gained important support from Belgian Cardinal Suenans.
The movement has been characterized by its acceptance of
the importance of speaking in tongues (also known as glossoCharcot,
Jean Martin Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
lalia), divine healing and prophecies as part of the grace of the
power of the Holy Spirit; most meetings are for prayer and
spirited singing and shouting; anointing the sick with oil is also
often part of worship service. It has become a meeting ground
between followers of the older Pentecostalism and people who
manifest the gifts but are members of older denominations. As
the movement matured through the 1980s, a number of new
denominations evolved from it.
In time most evangelicals came to accept the charismatic
movement and many of its practices. It is no longer unusual to
see charismatics of many faiths—Baptists, Catholics, Episcopalians,
Lutherans—as well as non-denominationalists, raising
their hands and arms in prayer, and singing, dancing, and
shouting in the Spirit.
Ford, J. Massyngberde. The Pentecostal Experience. Paramus,
N.J. Paulist Press, 1970.
Grimes, Ronald L., Bill J. Leonard, Anne E. Patrick, and
Wade Clark Roof. Religion and American Culture. 9, no. 2. (June
22, 1999) p. 131.
Manuel, David. Like a Mighty River. Orleans, Mass. Rock
Harbor Press, 1977.
Poloma, Margaret M. The Charismatic Movement Is There a
New Pentecost Boston Twayne Publishers, 1982.
Quebedeaux, Richard. The New Charismatics The Origins, Development
and Significance of Neo-Pentecostalism. Garden City,
N.Y. Doubleday, 1976.
Ranaghan, Kevin, and Dorothy Ranaghan. Catholic Pentecostals.
New York Paulist Press, 1969.
Robey, Steve and Steve Rabey. Revival in Brownsville Pensacola,
Pentecostalism, and the Power of American Revivalism. Nashville,
Tenn. Thomas Nelson, 1999.
Samarin, William J. Tongues of Men and Angels. New York
Macmillan, 1972.
Williams, J. Rodman. ‘‘Should We All Speak in Tongues’’
Christianity Today (March 6, 2000) 84.
Woodworth-Etter, Maria Beulah. The Holy Spirit. Whitaker
House, 1998.

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