Ecclesial Charisms

book coverMy first book addresses the topic of “ecclesial charisms.” “Charism” is a concept drawn originally from Pauline literature, and refers to a gift given by the Spirit to persons in the church for the upbuilding of the body of Christ.   Since the mid-twentieth century, Christians from a broad spectrum of theological positions have applied this term, in varying ways, to groups within the Church.  The book specifies the particular ways in which it is possible to speak of “group charisms,” and uses The Salvation Army and the Paulist Fathers as case studies for developing my argument.
“James E. Pedlar provides something rarely seen in ecumenical literature: robust theology that is grounded in the actual life of churches. His lucid treatment of ecclesial charism as a reality designed for the whole Church, in its unity, rather than as the ground and justification for church division, is challenging and compelling. Watching his biblical and systematic arguments play themselves out in the lives of Catholic and Salvation Army mission is exciting and sobering, and should cause a rethinking of several major missionary and ecumenical assumptions in our day. This is a stellar and important contribution.”
~Ephraim Radner, Professor of Historical Theology, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto
“James E. Pedlar’s Division, Diversity, and Unity synthesizes resources from biblical studies, ecumenism, theologies of charism, especially as developed among Catholic religious orders since Vatican II, and sociology into a creative and fresh constructive theology of ecclesial charisms. The Salvation Army and the Paulist Fathers offer Pedlar two very disparate and intriguing historical test cases. His argument that a theology of ecclesial charisms supports specialized vocational movements within the church but not separate churches is sure to provoke ecumenical discussion and help revive hopes for the ecumenical goal of visible, organic Christian unity.”
~William L. Portier, Mary Ann Spearin Chair of Catholic Theology, University of Dayton
This posts below are a log of thoughts I gathered while working on this project. I hope they might be of some use to others who are interested in the question of charisms and charismatic movements.
A working bibliography can be found here.




2 thoughts on “Ecclesial Charisms

  1. Rev. Pedlar,
    I saw your comments concerning the Holiness Movement Church and the Standard Church – and their mergers with the Free Methodist and Wesleyan Church. Does you know if either of these two groups still maintain congregations which did not merge?

    • Hi Curtis,
      The former denominations do not exist, but there are some independent Holiness congregations (mostly eastern Ontario) and I believe some of them would trace their roots to Horner, though I am not 100% sure about that.

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