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Can We Still Sing the Lyrics “Come Holy Spirit”?

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Spirit and Place in Australian Pentecostal Worship

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Australian Pentecostals, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are speaking new tongues in their worship practices, forming new poetic languages of singing and conversation relevant for spatially dislocated twenty-first-century life. Using Nimi Wariboko’s three-city model offered in Charismatic City and the Public Resurgence of Religion, this article assesses Australian pentecostal worship practice in light of his “Charismatic City.” The article suggests that this emergent, poetic language of Spirit empowerment situates the worshipper in a rhizomatic network that flows with pentecostal energies, forming a new commons or space that is the basis of its global civil society. It presents two local case studies from Hillsong Church’s pneumatological song repertoire (1996–2006), and yarning conversation rituals at Ganggalah Church led by Aboriginal Australian pastors. These new languages identify and attune participants to the Spirit’s work in the world, particularly useful for urban cities and cyberspace.

Affiliations: 1: Fuller Theological Seminary


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