Preaching as master’s discourse. A Foucauldian interpretation of Lutheran pastoral power

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Tilli , J 2019 , ' Preaching as master’s discourse. A Foucauldian interpretation of Lutheran pastoral power ' , Critical Research on Religion , vol. 7 , no. 2 , 2050303219848059 , pp. 113-129 . https://doi.org/10.1177/2050303219848059

Title: Preaching as master’s discourse. A Foucauldian interpretation of Lutheran pastoral power
Author: Tilli, Jouni
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Date: 2019-08
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Critical Research on Religion
ISSN: 2050-3032
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/315195
Abstract: Michel Foucault acknowledged that the Reformation was a pastoral battle and a reorganization of pastoral power. He did not, however, analyze Protestantism much further. This article broadens the scope of critical research on Protestantism, focusing on Lutheranism. Preaching is a fruitful way to overcome overemphasis on confession. In this endeavor I apply Foucault's concept of "master's discourse." I argue that while, in Lutheranism, conversion through comprehensive soul-searching is an individual matter, at the same time it relies on technologies aimed at a collective audience, such as preaching. Since preaching is divine speech, the Lutheran priest wields enormous spiritual power: the preacher is the truth-teller and the subject is required to listen to and internalize the proclaimed truth, instead of confessing their sins.
Subject: 517 Political science
614 Theology
Pastoral power
Michel Foucault
Lutheranism
Protestantism
preaching
CONFESSION
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