Posts Tagged ‘embodiment’

van de Kamp, “Converting the Spirit Spouse”

December 20, 2011

van de Kamp, Linda. 2011. Converting the Spirit Spouse: the Violent Transformation of the Pentecostal Female Body in Maputo, Mozambique. Ethnos 76(4): 510-533.

Abstract: This article discusses the forceful transformation of the female body in Brazilian Pentecostalism in urban Mozambique and argues for an understanding of Pentecostal conversion as embodying spiritual warfare. Presenting the case of avenging spirits, such as the spirit spouse, it explores how spirits interfere in women’s new socio-economic positions and intimate relationships. Pentecostal women learn to stay in control of their body under guidance of the Holy Spirit and a ‘violent’ war against the spirit spouse unfolds. The prevalence of ‘violence’ implies that we should critically question a perception of conversion as bringing healing and harmony.

de Witte, “Touched by the Spirit”

December 20, 2011

de Witte, Marleen. 2011. Touched by the Spirit: Converting the Senses in a Ghanian Charismatic Church. Ethnos 76(4): 489-509.

Abstract: This article discusses the bodily mass reproduction of divine touch in Ghanaian charismatic Pentecostalism and argues for an understanding of conversion as an ongoing bodily process that ‘tunes’ the senses to specific sensory experiences. Presenting a case study of the International Central Gospel Church in Accra, it asks how the church’s explicit appeal to the body relates to its strong suspicion of bodily mediation and its ideology of conversion as an inner transformation of the spirit and only secondarily of the body. It shows that the learning of the church doctrine that grounds born-again subjectivity in spontaneous and immediate experiences of being touched by the Holy Spirit goes together with repeated performance and gradual embodiment of sensory and bodily ‘formats’ that evoke such experiences, but also raise concerns about their authenticity.

Klaver, “From Sprinkling to Immersion”

December 20, 2011

Klaver, Miranda. 2011. From Sprinkling to Immersion: Conversion and Baptism in Dutch Evangelism. Ethnos 76(4): 469-488.

Abstract: Why do recent converts in new evangelical churches desire to be re-baptized by immersion despite their previous infant baptism in mainline churches? This article addresses this question through a discussion of the observed shift in baptism practices from that of ‘sprinkling’ infants (in Protestant mainline churches) to full bodily immersion of adults (in new evangelical churches) in the Netherlands. Based on an ethnographic comparison of these two baptism practices, I demonstrate the performative effect of rituals as well as the importance of connections between material forms, embodiment and doctrines. The call for different baptism practices, I suggest, illustrates a broader shift in Dutch Protestantism from a didactic to an experiential form of Christianity in which the encounter with the sacred is increasingly located in the body. At the same time, it demonstrates how religious authority has moved from institutions to individual believers.

Klaver and van de Kamp, “Embodied Temporalities”

December 20, 2011

Klaver, Miranda and Linda van de Kamp. 2011. Embodied Temporalities in Global Pentecostal Conversion. Ethnos 76(4).

Abstract: The body is one of the most discussed topics in current studies of religion and society. Pentecostalism displays a remarkable sensorial and experiential form of religion and is therefore a most interesting domain to study the intersection of religion and embodiment. To avoid the pitfall of taking the feeling body for granted as a prime phenomenological reality, this thematic issue elaborates on the explicit strategies through which the religious body is formed in different societies. The dynamics of becoming and remaining a religious convert are displayed through a focus on the three specific interrelated issues of time, spirits and the subject.

Chao, “Blessed Fetishism”

December 12, 2011

Chao, En-Chieh (2011) “Blessed fetishism: Language ideology and embodied worship among Pentecostals in Java” Culture and Religion 12(4):373-399

Abstract: A prominent trend of late Christianity has been a cultivation of ‘unmediated’ inspiration realised in embodied worship, notably glossolalia, ecstasy and verbal exuberance. Speaking unfathomable language and embracing spontaneous feelings, Pentecostals in Java have relied on and reworked local language ideologies by passionately employing both the babbling and yelling forms of code-switching in Indonesian, English, Hebrew and glossolalia, in an aspiration to achieve ‘true worshiper-hood’. A closer scrutiny of some elements of this embodied worship against the larger religiously heterogeneous context, furthermore, reveals the salient impacts of cross-religious relations on the process of shaping Pentecostal Christianity. This article argues that specific forms of Pentecostal worship can be better understood when situated in Muslim–Christian relations. Specifically, they speak to a thriving form of religious fetishism that is locally primed for a distinct voice out of the flourishing movements of Islamic resurgence.

Heuser, “Put on God’s Armour Now!”

December 6, 2011

Heuser, Andreas (2011) “‘Put on God’s Armour Now!’: the Embattled Body in African Pentecostal-type Christianity”  in Sebastian Jobs and Gesa Mackenthun, eds., Embodiments of Cultural Encounters. Munster: Wasmann Verlag. 

Excerpt: “Arjun Appadurai distinguishes “hard” from “soft” cultural forms by discussing processes of indigenization . . The argument that I have presented here is that the ‘theology of the embattled body’ in African Pentecostal-type Christianity has developed in to such a “hard cultural form.” . . .Pneumatology, the central theological dimension in African Pentecostal-style Christianity, reviles around the twin formula of an enacted demonology and an elaborated devil complex. . . As a hard cultural form, with all its moral, spiritual, and ritual virtues, the theology of the embattled body resist reinterpretation. In few of the gendered body politics in African Pentecostal-type churches, it changes those who are socialized in it more readily than it permits transformation of the established texture of the devil complex.  . . “

Bacchiddu, “Holding the Saint in One’s Arms”

November 8, 2011

Bacchiddu, Giovanna (2011) “Holding the Saint in One’s Arms: Miracles and Exchange in Apiao, Southern Chile.” In Dedele and Blanes, eds, Encounters of Body and Soul in Contemporary Religious Practices. Oxford, Berghahn Books. 

Excerpt: An approach to the body divorced from the spheres of both the social and the spiritual is unthinkable in Apiao, Chiloé, like in the rest of native lowland South America. This essay endeavours to illustrate how the body, the spiritual and the social interact and mutually build each other in the devotion to a local Catholic saint. A little statue of a miraculous saint is the interlocutor in an articulate dialectical exchange; an individual with whom people engage and build meaningful social relationships.

 

 

Knibbe, “How to Deal With the Dutch”

November 8, 2011

Knibbe, Kim (2011) ” ‘How to Deal with the Dutch’: The Local and the Global in the Habitus of Saved Souls.” In Dedele and Blanes, eds, Encounters of Body and Soul in Contemporary Religious Practices. Oxford, Berghahn Books. 

Excerpt: “How do we shout Halleluiah?” Enthusiastically, her audience responded with a shout of “HALLELUIAH!” accompanied by exuberant arm movements. “And how do the Dutch shout Halleluiah?” Her audience laughed, and tried to imitate the lack of enthusiasm they perceived among the Dutch in different ways: a shortly mumbled hallelujah, huddled and hesitant arm movements that barely raised the hands above the head and kept elbows firmly clipped to the sides. Approvingly, she continued with her next question, encapsulating the problem in one distinct contrast: “And how do they shout when they are watching a football match?” To this, her audience responded like the crowd in a bar when the Dutch football team scores during a soccer match: loud shouting, flinging arms upwards and jumping up and down.

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