Original Research

Peculiarities in the Pentecostal tradition: Disciplinal and decolonial perspectives in a South African context

Mookgo S. Kgatle
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 43, No 1 | a2519 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v43i1.2519 | © 2022 Mookgo S. Kgatle | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2022 | Published: 26 July 2022

About the author(s)

Mookgo S. Kgatle, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History, and Missiology, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


The African Pentecostal tradition as a distinct movement within the Protestant tradition is discussed here from disciplinal and decolonial perspectives. The characteristics that inform this distinction are explored to show that Pentecostalism is part of the Protestant tradition but distinct from other streams within this tradition. In addition, the different types and streams that exist within the broader Pentecostal movement such as classical Pentecostalism, African Independent Pentecostalism, Newer Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches and prophetic Pentecostalism are highlighted to demonstrate peculiarities. These distinctions help not to generalise when addressing the challenges and weaknesses of a specific Pentecostal sub-tradition. However, it is these distinctions in Pentecostalism that enable both insiders and outsiders to engage in an interdisciplinary study within theological disciplines and multidisciplinary study between theology and other disciplines. The distinctions in Pentecostalism assist African scholars in thoroughly engaging in decolonial discourses within theological studies in order to highlight challenges and provide solutions.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article demonstrates that the peculiarities in the Pentecostal tradition and sub-traditions in Africa serve as an opportunity for an interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary study of theology. In addition, these peculiarities – despite their challenges – are a trigger for the decolonisation of theological education and knowledge systems in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa.


African Pentecostalism; peculiarities; decoloniality; disciplinarily; theology


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