Posts Tagged ‘Girish Daswani’

Ritual Textuality: Review Forum (Girish Daswani)

July 6, 2014

Tomlinson, Matt. 2014. Ritual Textuality: Pattern and Motion in Performance. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. 

By: Girish Daswani (University of Toronto)

 

This is the kind of book that you will want to read. It is based on twenty-eight months of research in Fiji (Kadavu and Suva) and explores the overlapping themes of Pentecostal Christianity, Methodism, tradition and politics. It is also theoretically insightful and relevant because it takes you beyond Fiji, Christianity, tradition and politics. Tomlinson’s book is both short and eloquently written. It is an Introduction, four chapters and a “Full Stop” (his conclusion) long and is designed to both inform and effectively teach readers how discourse and written texts, which emerge in ritual performances, can be broken down into distinctive patterns. There are four basic patterns to all ritual performances Tomlinson suggests – sequence, conjunction, contrast and substitution – and once you know what these patterns are and how they function and converge, a new door of analysis opens up. All you have to do is walk in. Even if this book is not explicitly framed as an invitation, it implicitly invites you to try these methods for yourself. The content of its pages leaves the reader with important conceptual tools with which to analyze an array of ritual performances in motion and to understand how the various components of these rituals converge in different ways and to varying effects. Read the rest of this entry »

Daswani, “On Christianity and Ethics”

August 13, 2013

Daswani, Girish. 2013. On Christianity and Ethics: Rupture as ethical practice in Ghanian Pentecostalism. American Ethnologist 40(3):467-479.

Abstract: Rupture, a common principle of the Pentecostal Christian faith, can also give rise to ethical disputes among believers. The study of such disputes provides insight into the ways ethical practice shapes the institutional continuities and the personal inconsistencies of a Christian life. All believers learn what Pentecostal rupture is, but they have different opinions about how it is achieved, and, once born again, they differ on what constitutes good or right religious observance. I suggest that approaching rupture as ethical practice allows for a better understanding of the religious subject’s response to an incommensurability of values and practices internal to Pentecostalism.

Daswani, “Global Pentecostal Networks and the problem of Culture: The Church of Pentecost in Ghana and Abroad.”

October 9, 2012

Daswani, Girish (202) “Global Pentecostal Networks and the problem of Culture: The Church of Pentecost in Ghana and Abroad.” in Michael Wilinson, ed, Global Pentecostal Movements: Migration, Mission, and Public Religion. Leiden: Brill. Pp 71-92

First Paragraph: Many have written on how Pentecostalism travels the globe and how it has become a force to be reckoned with in our contemporary world. For example, Pentecostalism possesses what Thomas Csordas (2007) callas a “transposable message” of salvation, and “portable practices” that included prayer, speaking in tongues and prophecy – homogenizing forms that travel across space and time through processes of missionization, migration, mobility, and mediation. Joel Robbins (2004, 117) discussed how Pentecostalism successfully adapted itself to the range of cultures in which it is introduced through a processes of replication and indigenizing difference. He calls these two descriptions of global Pentecostalism, global homogenization adn indigenizing difference, contradictory assertions that are useful in explaining its success (119). Similarly, according to Simon Coleman (2010, 800), Pentecostalism in its global form constitutes what he calls “part cultures, presenting worldviews meant for export that are holistic in one sense but, as we have seen, also in tension with the values of any given host society.” While Pentecostalism can be described as both global in its reach and local in its application, adapting to the tensions between its own values and those of its host societies and cultures, I seek to revisit how we may understand the “global” in the globalization of Pentecostalism through one church’s expanding networks and the simultaneous tensions and limits that arise from its engagement with “culture.”

Daswani “(In-)Dividual Pentecostals in Ghana”

October 3, 2011

Girish Daswani (2011) “(In-)Dividual Pentecostals in GhanaJournal of Religion in Africa 41(3):256-279

Abstract: How are Ghanaian Pentecostals related to others, not just as individuals but relationally and as partible and divisible selves that have an influential force over each other? In answering this question I use the example of two Ghanaian Pentecostal women who face personal problems in their lives and who seek different alternatives in alleviating their suffering. While claims to individuality may be important in born-again conversion, I argue that we also need to consider how Pentecostal Christians are dividual and related to others. In doing so, I examine these Ghanaian Pentecostal women as ethical subjects who are involved in balancing individual achievements against moral obligations to others.

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