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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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Fusion and Force

Fusion and Force

(p.89) 4 Fusion and Force
Glossolalia and the Problem of Language

Nicholas Harkness

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 4 demonstrates how the logic of glossolalia is present in the Korean Christian emphasis on evangelism and revivalism. I analyze the final sermon of the American Evangelist Billy Graham’s 1973 “crusade” in Seoul, South Korea, when he preached to a crowd estimated to have exceeded one million, the largest crowd ever amassed for a Graham event. Next to Graham at the pulpit was Jang Hwan “Billy” Kim, a Korean Baptist preacher who, in his capacity as interpreter, translated (and matched) Graham’s sermon verbally and peri-verbally—utterance by utterance, tone by tone, gesture by gesture—for the Korean-speaking audience. For observers of this legendary event, one Christian’s voice seemed to be filled with the speech of another, and both voices seemed to be fused together by the work of the Holy Spirit. The analysis reveals the dynamic pragmatics by which a verbal copy across linguistic codes became an evangelical conduit between Cold War polities, paving the way for the movement of the Word—and the Holy Spirit—from speaker to speaker, from code to code, from country to country, from heaven to earth. Their collaborative manipulations of utterance and agency provide important clues for understanding the semiotic force of glossolalia in South Korea.

Keywords:   Billy Graham, Jang Hwan "Billy" Kim, 1973 Crusade in Seoul, Oratory, Translation, Semiotic Transduction

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