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Ritual TextualityPattern and Motion in Performance$
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Matt Tomlinson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199341139

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199341139.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 June 2021

The Holy Ghost Is About to Fall

The Holy Ghost Is About to Fall

(p.22) 2 The Holy Ghost Is About to Fall
Ritual Textuality

Matt Tomlinson

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses “performative paths,” sequences whose interconnections are designed to shape ritual participants’ expectations of ritual efficacy. The core example comes from a Pentecostal “crusade” held in Fiji in 2008. The performer who led the service, a preacher from Texas, wove a regular rhetorical pattern of entextualization during his sermon and “altar call” (when people were asked to invite the Holy Spirit to flow through their bodies, making them speak in tongues). He regularly moved from making simple declarations to offering promises, questions, and statements about the future, and then commanding people to act. In looping through this sequence of text again and again, he sought to generate an ecstatic response from his audience, who would repent of their sins and rock their bodies in exuberant, divine deliverance.

Keywords:   Pentecostal, glossolalia (speaking in tongues), ritual, ritual efficacy, text, entextualization, Fiji

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