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When God Interferes: Ritual, Empowerment, and Divine Presence

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores how theological notions of human powerlessness and dependence upon God are actualised and unfolded, rather than symbolically represented, through the bodily and rhetoric engagement in Pentecostal ritual. It examines different strategies by use of which divine presence becomes manifest as a part of the ritual communicative community, and the active interference of God is established as the only true source of consequential action. The chapter demonstrates that important insights into the cultural microdynamics of Latin American Pentecostalism will emerge from an explicit focus on ritual, a topic sadly neglected in most of the existing literature. It argues that it is mainly through the engagement in different practices of worship that Pentecostal dispositions for orientation towards and communion with the sacred are acquired and exercised.

Keywords:divine presence; Pentecostalism; powerlessness; ritual



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