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Glossolalia and the Problem of Language$
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Nicholas Harkness

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780226749389

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226749556.001.0001

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Feeling the Same Thing

Feeling the Same Thing

(p.65) 3 Feeling the Same Thing
Glossolalia and the Problem of Language

Nicholas Harkness

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 3 investigates Korean Christian conceptualizations of “the Word” as something that seems to circulate—to “move”—in order to illuminate the ideological grounds for explaining the sense of a shared experience of the Holy Spirit. Focusing closely on the cultural conceptualization of the Word in contemporary South Korea, the chapter shows how theological assertions of two pastors who lead two of the largest churches in Seoul conceptualize in denominationally different ways (Presbyterian and Pentecostal) the relation of utterances to agents in order to make claims about the behavior of the Holy Spirit in Christian communities. The chapter shows how the logic of glossolalia is embedded in the more mainline Presbyterian model, and rises to the surface in the Pentecostal model, as emphasis shifts from the linguistic mediation of social contact in Christian fellowship to the linguistic mediation of contact with the Holy Spirit en masse.

Keywords:   Circulation, the Word, Interdiscursivity, Intertextuality, Sermons, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Sarang Church

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