Article published in:Circulating Signs and People: Politics, affect, ethnography
Edited by Daniel N. Silva
[Pragmatics and Society 6:2] 2015
► pp. 261–287
Flowing and framing
Language ideology, circulation, and authority in a Pentecostal Bible school
Experiential and mediatized, Pentecostal Christianity is one of the most successful cases of contemporary religious globalization. However, it has often grown and expanded transnationally without clear authoritative contours. That is the case in contemporary Ghana, where Pentecostal claims about charismatic empowerment have fed public anxieties concerning the fake and the occult. This article examines how Pentecostalism’s dysfunctional circulation is countered within seminaries, or Bible schools, by specific strategies of pastoral training. First, I revisit recent debates on Protestant language ideology in the anthropology of Christianity, and stress Pentecostalism’s affinity with notions of flow and saturation of speech by divine presence. Second, I move to data collected in the Anagkazo Bible and Ministry Training Center, and investigate this institution’s pedagogical framing of Pentecostalism’s otherwise erratic flow of speech and power according to two normative operations: Biblical figuration and the emic notion of transmission as ‘impartation’. I conclude by stressing how the metapragmatics of figuration and impartation in Anagkazo requires an understanding of religious circulation that exceeds the dominant scholarly focus on religion-as-mediation.
Keywords: meta-pragmatics, Ghana, language ideology, circulation, pedagogy, authority, Pentecostalism
Published online: 24 July 2015
Cited by 2 other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 18 march 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
Abreu, Maria José de
Bauman, Richard, and Charles Briggs
Bialecki, Jon, and Eric Hoenes del Pinal
Comaroff, Jean, and John Comaroff
de Vries, Hent
Espírito Santo, Diana
Goodwin, Charles, and Alessandro Duranti
Hanks, William F.
Schieffelin, Bambi, Kathryn Woolard, and Paul Kroskrity
Silverstein, Michael, and Greg Urban
Voloshinov, Valentin N.