Thinking Through the Methodological and Theoretical Quandaries of Gender and Canadian Pentecostal History

Linda Ambrose


To date, my research has centered on a series of biographies of women who were involved in the Pentecostal movement in Canada during the first half of the twentieth century. These women occupied multiple roles as evangelists, pastors, missionaries, teachers, musicians and writers. This paper concentrates on three issues of theory and methodology that present particular queries and quandaries for researchers of Pentecostal history. The first is a question of approach: “What does a gender history approach bring to the study of Pentecostalism and how is this different from women’s history?” The second is a question of archives: Given that the primary source material available about Canadian Pentecostal women (both unpublished and published) tends to be celebratory, what can be gained from regarding these commemorative texts when they clearly are not unmediated sources? The third is a question of audience: what does a study of women in the Pentecostal movement bring to conversations within Pentecostal faith communities in Canada and also to conversations among academic historians of religion in Canada? Is there a place for building bridges between these two communities?


Pentecostalism, Gender

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