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Divine CallingsUnderstanding the Call to Ministry in Black Pentecostalism$
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Richard N. Pitt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814768235

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814768235.001.0001

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“Heard a Voice from Heaven Say”

“Heard a Voice from Heaven Say”

Calling Narratives among Black Pentecostals

(p.41) 2 “Heard a Voice from Heaven Say”
Divine Callings

Richard N. Pitt

NYU Press

This chapter chronicles narratives that speak to ministers' beliefs that they had real encounters with God, encounters that initiated their transition from lay-members and lay-leaders to something fundamentally different. Accounts of this “communion with their god” suggest that some of these encounters may be seen as conversational and interactive as any other social interaction. Sociological accounts of religious experience are full of descriptions of, presumably, one-way, bottom-to-top “conversations” religious adherents claim to have with God through prayer and meditation; adherents pray to God and maybe God responds. This is certainly not the case in these narratives. These top-to-bottom vertical social interactions are thought to be initiated by God (the caller) through various means; the respondent, in this case, is the callee.

Keywords:   God, bottom-to-top interactions, top-to-bottom interactions, ministers, social interactions

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