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Glossolalia and the Problem of Language - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Glossolalia and the Problem of Language

Nicholas Harkness


Speaking in tongues is a worldwide phenomenon that dates back to the early Christian church. Commonly referred to as “glossolalia,” it has been the subject of curiosity and vigorous debate for the past two centuries. Glossolalia is both celebrated as supernatural gift and condemned as semiotic alchemy. For some it is mystical speech that exceeds what words can do, and for others it is mere gibberish, empty of meaning. At the heart of these differences is glossolalia’s puzzling relationship to language. Glossolalia and the Problem of Language investigates speaking in tongues in South Korea, whe ... More

Keywords: glossolalia, speaking in tongues, Korea, Christianity, language, semiotics, anthropology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780226749389
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2022 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226749556.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nicholas Harkness, author
Harvard University