Intensities and Energies in the Charismatic Language, Embodiment, and Genre of a North American Movement
This chapter argues that by concentrating on affect, we can think about language and embodiment together without privileging either term. To demonstrate, the chapter draws on eight years of ethnographic engagement with the Vineyard, a hybrid evangelical/Pentecostal California-originated church planting movement. Here, the chapter defines affect as “the intensities and energies found in a particular moment or object that has consequences on others.” It shows how affect serves to structure both linguistic and embodied performance and suggests that Pentecostal/charismatic Christianity has been particularly successful in using heightened levels of affect to expand, reinvigorate, and reconfigure individual and collective identities. Tracing the “lines of affect” would thus develop greater appreciation for the growth of Pentecostalism and evangelicalism in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as a greater theoretical understanding of broader religiosities.
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