Charisma and Routinisation in a Millennialist Community: Seventh-Day Adventist Identity

Author: Ferret, Richard Bowen
This work examines the nature of Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) identity with particular reference to Ellen G. White, the movement’s co-founder and prophet. Unlike most literature in which the primary method in assessing SDA identity from Adventist sources is limited to a theological perspective, this study analyzes the movement’s socio-historical and cultural contexts.


“. . . adds to the growing evidence that historical, and theological studies are crucial for the SDA movement’s self-understanding and mission. More than that, his manuscript offers another indicator that it is time for the Adventist church and other religious entities to embrace sociology more intentionally. Ferret avoids the pitfalls that confront a believer-participant who studies their own faith-community. Therefore, he can speak powerfully to his own communion as well as forward the burgeoning discussion of Adventist Studies in the wider world of scholarship.” – Prof. Arthur N. Patrick, Avondale College

“. . . deals with a topic of significance both for understanding the development of religious movements in general and for understanding the nature of Seventh-day Adventism in particular. . .” - Prof. Richard Rice, Loma Linda University

“. . . will be essential reading for anyone working in any related part of Adventist history—this book will be one of the shoulders that future researchers will build on, just as he has built on key contributions from his predecessors and mentors.” - Prof. Ronald Lawson, Queens College

Table of Contents

Foreword: Dr. Arthur Patrick
1. Introduction: A Dilemma and a Problem
2. American Revivalism. Millennial Dreams, Crisis and Charismatic Inauguration
3. Ellen G. White: Charisma Legitimized
4. Adventist Identity Formation
5. The Routinisation of Charisma in Adventist Experience
6. Imminence and Delay: A Constant Impasse
7. The Dynamics of Sectarian Controversies: 1840s-1950s
8. The Dynamics of Sectarian Controversies: 1960s and Beyond
9. Doctrine and/or Deed: Dilemmas of Institutionalism
10. Conclusion