Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Ryan Carlin

Second Advisor

Charles Hankla

Third Advisor

Carrie Manning


Many scholars claim that Pentecostalism is the fastest growing religious phenomenon in human history. Using two important essays of Max Weber as a foundation, this thesis examines whether growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America is promoting the Protestant Ethic described by Weber as well as Social Capital and Spiritual Capital. Analyzing data from the World Values Survey, this thesis argues that growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America is not creating a new Protestant Ethic among its followers, nor is Pentecostalism creating any greater Social Capital or Spiritual Capital among its followers when compared to other religious groups in the region. This thesis argues that the strong emotional character of Pentecostalism weighs against the creation or Social Capital and Spiritual Capital and that the tendency of Pentecostals to find assurance of their salvation in emotional experience does not promote the frugality or rationalization of work necessary for the Protestant Ethic.