“A Typology of American Restitutionism: From Frontier Revivalism and Mormonism to the Jesus Movement”
Hill, Samuel S. “A Typology of American Restitutionism: From Frontier Revivalism and Mormonism to the Jesus Movement.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 44, no. 1 (1976): 65–76.
Looking at Protestant denominations originating in 19th-/early 20th-century America, Hill examines how each works to bring about a restitution of the original ‘paradigmatic’ Jesus movement which is held to have exclusive authority. Hill cites different types of restitutionalism: institutional, or establishing on earth the church intended by Christ (ex. Mormonism); ideological, where right belief is the core focus (ex. Churches of Christ, Adventists, Fundamentalists); relational reconciliation, which seeks to heal the estrangement between God and humanity by being ‘born again’ through conversion (ex. Frontier Revivalism, Pentecostalism, Disciples of Christ); Inspirational, or Holy Spirit possession and transformation like in the early community in the Book of Acts (ex. Roman Catholic Pentecostals, Evangelicals, Episcopal charismatics); and spiritual unification, precipitating an “internal realization of the kingdom of God” (72) or the restoration of the eternal principles practiced by Jesus (ex. Christian Science, Unity, New Thought, Swedenborgianism, and Transcendentalism). Unlike Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Orthodox Christians who see their traditions in continuity and communion with all of Christian history and formation, these restitutional movements have cherished a very American and optimistic sense that what they’ve created was something new and original.
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