What is the nature and function of the Pentecostal/Charismatic gift of speaking in tongues? Charismatic Glossolalia aims to answer this question. Drawing on detailed observations and interviews with people who themselves speak in tongues, as well as survey data, Cartledge presents explanations on the meaning of this gift for both the participants and their churches. Cartledge argues that an understanding of the gift of speaking in tongues emerges as a symbol of divine-human encounter, especially associated with the context of prayer and worship and symbolising a sense of beauty, awe, power, intimacy and faith-building. In theological terms, speaking in tongues may be described as trinitarian, sacramental and as demonstrating an important feature of the Kingdom of God. An extensive literature review considers material from the New Testament, Pentecostal and Charismatic theology, and the behavioural and social sciences.
This book offers a unique contribution to Pentecostal and Charismatic scholarship, as well as the emerging scholarly tradition of Practical Theology.
Reviews: ‘Given the exciting and energetic spread of Charismatic Christianity across the world, the systematic empirical exploration of a fundamental aspect of Charismatic practice (speaking in tongues) is long overdue. Mark Cartledge's scholarly and readable text provides a foundational study that future readers and scholars will not be able to ignore.' William K. Kay
‘Mark Cartledge has put us all in his debt. This work crystallises his methodologically innovative, sure-footed, and theologically perceptive, analysis of glossolalia. This is an important model for all future studies of religious experience in the contempory scene’.
Max Turner, London Bible College, UK
'Mark Cartledge's massive work, Charismatic Glossolalia, reveals the author's knowledge and commitment to the history, background and contemporary significance of glossolalia... this book not only explores the biblical and ecclesiological evidence but also interviews people who speak in tongues in the church today... This book is exhaustive and very well researched: it addresses an issue which is a constant source of fascination and interest to many inside and outside of the church.' Borderlands
'... the value of this study lies precisely in its capacity for crossing methodological and disciplinary boundaries without succumbing to either theological reductionism or methodological positivism. Those interested in pentecostal-charismatic theology, empirical theology, and practical theology, will benefit from a close reading of this book.' Religious Studies Review
'Mark Cartledge presents an innovative approach to the study of the glossolalia that attempts to combine the empirical strength of the social sciences within an overarching theological program... Cartledge (...) is attempting to gain an understanding of how our beliefs and theology affect our experiences and our attitudes. To that end, he includes a comprehensive survey of New Testament studies of glossolalia, as well as theological, sociological, psychological, and linguistic studies.... a fascinating look into the experiental side of charismatic theology.... a welcome addition to Pentecostal/charismatic theological studies. I would recommend it to those interested in the connection between theology and practical living.' The Pneuma Review
'... a welcome addition to [...] 'Charismatic academic theology.' Journal of Empirical Theology