Barthes, “Billy Graham at the Vel’ d’Hiv'”

March 17, 2012

Barthes, Roland (2012 [1957]) “Billy Graham at the Vel’D’Hiv'”  in Mythologies: The Complete Edition, in a New Translation. Trans, Richard Howard & Annette Lavers. New York, Hill and Wang. Pp. 109-112.

Excerpt: “So many missionaries have regaled us with the religious practices of “Primitives” that it is entirely regrettable that a Papuan witch doctor was not at the Vel’ d’Hiv’ to describe the ceremony presided over by Dr. Graham under the name of an evangelizing campaign. There is a splendid piece of anthropological raw material here, which seems, moreover, to be inherited from certain “savage” cults, for we recognize in it under an immediate aspect the three great phases of every religious action: Expectation, Suggestion, Initiation . . . “

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