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The Pedagogies of Preaching

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Skill, Performance, and Charisma in a Pentecostal Bible School from Ghana

image of Journal of Religion in Africa

This article investigates Pentecostal preaching from a pedagogical angle, more exactly from the point of view of its transmission to apprentice pastors in a Ghanaian seminary or Bible school. My concern is the reproduction of a specific preaching style in this institution, an “international” one, governed by explicit and implicit norms. I revisit ethnographically some of these norms as they are conveyed and embodied through lectures about preaching, devotional routines, and student services. I call attention to the emic notion of “flow”, arguing that it lends good legibility to how Pentecostals articulate the multivalent status of preaching as a mimetic skill, a contingent performance, and an authentic expression of charisma. By doing so, flow also provides an interesting entry into the pedagogical dimension of the power assembling and expanding this organization transnationally.

Affiliations: 1: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Antropologia SocialUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaBrazil


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