The rise and fall of the Pentecostals: the role and significance of the body in Pentecostal spirituality
Keywords:Religious change, Experience (Religion) -- Christianity, Pentecostalism, Body, Human, Spirituality, Charisma, Glossolalia, Interviewing, Worship, Holy Spirit
AbstractThis paper addresses the role and significance of the body in contemporary Pentecostalism. It begins with a description of the various body-centred spiritual experiences common in this tradition. Next, it considers the social context of the Pentecostal body, arguing that the premium and importance placed on outward bodily experiences is consistent with a broader societal focus on bodies and bodily appearance. Finally, it draws on in-depth interview data with Pentecostals to illustrate the processes involved in coming to have an experience in which one’s body becomes the highly visible locus of spirituality. No longer restrained and ordered, the contemporary Christian body is exuberant, released to worship and be overcome by God. Being slain in the Spirit is the most prominent example of this shift in contemporary spirituality. The Pentecostal emphasis on bodily experiences is consistent with the late modern interest in the outward appearance of the body.
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Copyright (c) 2011 Andrew Singleton
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