Document Type


Publication Date



In contrast to functionalist explanations for the spread of Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity, this article discursively analyzes conversion narratives to understand the localization of a global cultural phenomenon. The narratives were drawn from interviews, conducted in 2005, with members of the El Shaddai and Jesus-is-Lord movements. Approached from the perspective of critical realism, the narratives embody a diversity of plots, creative tensions, and distinctively Filipino elements that speak of a reconstituted self and a new engagement with society. They reveal the informants' grappling with the question of God's existence, which finds resolution in individualized experiences of transcendence that generate and infuse local meanings to Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity.