Browsing by Subject "CHURCH"

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  • Abraham, Ibrahim (2018)
    Drawing on the work of Webb Keane and Joel Robbins in the anthropology of Christianity, furnished with the influential work of Charles Hirschkind in the anthropology of Islam, and the ethnographic studies of Tom Wagner and Mark Jennings on Pentecostal worship music, this article critically examines ideas of sincerity in the musical practices of Pentecostal megachurches. Making use of ethnographic data from research on congregational music in South Africa, including interviews with a variety of Pentecostal musicians, this article argues that the question of Protestant sincerity, understood following Keane as emphasizing individual moral autonomy and suspicion of external material religious forms for expressing one's inner state, is particularly acute in the case of the Hillsong megachurch. Employing the full array of spectacular possibilities made available by the contemporary culture industry, Hillsong churches centralize cultural production and standardize musical performance whilst simultaneously emphasizing individual religious experience. It is argued that Pentecostal megachurches seek to realize a form of sincere mimicry grounded in learned and embodied practices.
  • Polynczuk-Alenius, Kinga (2022)
    Polynczuk-Alenius's article contributes to a better understanding of the racist moment in Poland that began in the aftermath of the 'refugee crisis' in 2015. It does so by zooming in on Christian far-right discourse and reconstructing a cognitive map of the social world manufactured therein. To this end, it analyses the blog of the former Catholic priest Jacek Miedlar, now a far-right activist and one of the leaders of the anti-refugee movement. In doing so, the article relies on two compatible bodies of research that have rarely been used together. Theoretically, the article approaches Christian far-right discourse as an articulation of the paranoid style and concentrates on its conspiratorial aspect. Analytically, it uses the fourfold model of authoritarian communication developed by the Frankfurt School to dissect systematically the conspiratorial tale expounded on Miedlar's blog. Accordingly, the empirical analysis of 116 blog posts treats the following themes: 1) the discontent diagnosed by Miedlar (anti-Polonism, epitomized by the suppression of nationalist and Christian values in favour of European universalism); 2) the alleged operators of anti-Polonism (the Jewish-orchestrated conspiracy bent on dominating the world and its puppets); 3) the movement that will rise up against this cabal (namely, the Polish Catholic nationalists armed with conservative values); and 4) the leader of the struggle (Miedlar himself as a Christ-like martyr figure). The article concludes that the anti-Muslim discourse, premised on an appeal to racist sentiments, served as a gateway into the conspiratorial, deeply antisemitic world-view of the Christian far-right milieu. In Poland, as elsewhere, such a world-view, stored and transmitted through the fringe far-right discourse, usually seems to gain traction in wider society during times of crisis.