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Richard N. Pitt; Divine Callings: Understanding the Call to Ministry in Black Pentecostalism

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Divine Callings: Understanding the Call to Ministry in Black Pentecostalism Paperback – February 1, 2012
by Richard N. Pitt  (Author)
One of the unique aspects of the religious profession is the high percentage of those who claim to be "called by God" to do their work. This call is particularly important within African American Christian traditions. Divine Callings offers a rare sociological examination of this markedly understudied phenomenon within black ministry. Richard N. Pitt draws on over 100 in-depth interviews with Black Pentecostal ministers in the Church of God in Christo both those ordained and licensed and those aspiringoto examine how these men and women experience and pursue "the call." Arguing that divine calling is as much a social process as it is a spiritual one, Pitt delves into the personal stories of these individuals to explore their work as active agents in the process of fulfilling their calling. In some cases, those called cannot find pastoral work due to gender discrimination, lack of clergy positions, or educational deficiencies. Pitt looks specifically at how those who have not obtained clergy positions understand their call, exploring the influences of psychological experience, the congregational acceptance of their call, and their response to the training process. He emphasizes how those called to ministry re-conceptualize clericalism in terms of who can be called, how that call has to be certified, and what those called are meant to do, offering insight into how social actors adjust to structural constraints. Richard N. Pitt is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University.

Editorial Reviews

beautifully written and profoundly sensitive exploration of the meaning of ministry as labor and calling.  It stands not only as a highly original empirical treatment of the Church of God in Christ, but as an important theoretical statement in the sociologies of religion and professions. *Divine Callings* will be read and discussed for many years to come.
-Omar McRoberts, University of Chicago

In an educational credentialing world, Richard Pitt takes us deep into an alternative reality--clergy by calling and anointing.  A riveting read, this is serious social science that enlightens as it engages.
-Michael O. Emerson, Rice University
About the Author
Richard N. Pitt is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University.
Product Details
  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814768245
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814768242
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
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