Get A Problem of Presence: Beyond Scripture in an African Church PDF

By Matthew Engelke

ISBN-10: 0520249038

ISBN-13: 9780520249035

The Friday Masowe apostolics of Zimbabwe consult with themselves as “the Christians who don’t learn the Bible.” They declare they don't want the Bible simply because they obtain the be aware of God “live and direct” from the Holy Spirit. during this insightful and delicate ancient ethnography, Matthew Engelke records how this rejection of scripture speaks to longstanding matters inside of Christianity over mediation and authority. The Bible, after all, has been a key medium by which Christians have famous God’s presence. however the apostolics understand scripture as an pointless, even harmful, mediator. For them, the materiality of the Bible marks a distance from the divine and prohibits the conclusion of a dwell and direct faith.

Situating the Masowe case inside a huge comparative framework, Engelke indicates how their rejection of textual authority poses an issue of presence—which is to assert, how the spiritual topic defines, and claims to build, a courting with the non secular global throughout the semiotic potentials of language, activities, and items. Written in a full of life and available type, an issue of Presence makes very important contributions to the anthropology of Christianity, the background of religions in Africa, semiotics, and fabric tradition studies.

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In addition, as I discuss at length in chapter 5, prophets in the Friday churches are said to speak “ancient Hebrew” when filled with the Holy Spirit (although this is not the ancient Hebrew known in history). This ritual language is a highly valued index of God’s presence and a prophet’s legitimacy. And, as I mentioned earlier, the apostolics adhere to Levitical food taboos. 18 introduction According to Daniel Boyarin (1993), the literate mentality of Judaism might best be defined by the qualities of the spoken word.

Where Drucker wants to expand on Derrida is in her insistence that “the mere and actual materiality of signifying forms” (1994, 38) demand more attention. Her work, which focuses on Dadaist and Futurist typography, suggests that it is impossible to ignore the material dimensions of written language: “The inherent physical properties of stuff function in the process of signification” (Drucker 1994, 45; see also McGann 1993 on modernist typography). 30 introduction After Saussure, there have been major students of language, such as Roman Jakobson and Mikhail Bakhtin, who have gone on to demonstrate the importance of materiality in the process of signification.

Derrida 1974, 30–44). Where Drucker wants to expand on Derrida is in her insistence that “the mere and actual materiality of signifying forms” (1994, 38) demand more attention. Her work, which focuses on Dadaist and Futurist typography, suggests that it is impossible to ignore the material dimensions of written language: “The inherent physical properties of stuff function in the process of signification” (Drucker 1994, 45; see also McGann 1993 on modernist typography). 30 introduction After Saussure, there have been major students of language, such as Roman Jakobson and Mikhail Bakhtin, who have gone on to demonstrate the importance of materiality in the process of signification.

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A Problem of Presence: Beyond Scripture in an African Church by Matthew Engelke


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