After the denominozoic: Evolution, differentiation, denominationalism

Jon Bialecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper I argue that sociological denomination theory, despite its success in describing historic denomination cycles, has limits to its contemporary use and does not match the ethnographic description of the variety of ways in which denominationalism is expressed in anthropological ethnographies of Christianity. The cause of this mismatch is placed at the feet of unilinear models of denominational evolution. In its place, a differential model of autopoietic denominational evolution is suggested, where denominations are seen as different and differing solutions to an insistent Christian problematic. The capacities of this model are explored through the Vineyard, an association of charismatic churches that originated in Southern California.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S193-S204
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Anthropology
Issue numberS10
Early online date12 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


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