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Pentecostal prayer as Personal Communication and Invisible Institutional Work

Abstract : In classical Pentecostalism, prayer can be seen as the keystone of an “enchanted” individualisation produced by an institutional work of training, control and mediation which aims to establish the subjective experience of an “individual, free conversation with God” (Mauss). Prayer functions as a vector of personal involvement, enabling the individual to enter an intimate relationship with God, while encouraging the conversion of this deeply “personal” experience into a commitment for church community and collective mobilisations. Drawing from observations and interviews collected within the Assemblies of God of French Polynesia, this chapter examines three different forms of prayer in order to specify the Pentecostal articulation between individual, community and institution: “Personal Prayer and the ‘Voice of the Holy Spirit’”, “Prayer in tongues and Meta-Communication”, “Prayer of Intercession and Spiritual Warfare”.
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Contributor : Yannick Fer <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 11, 2020 - 3:46:16 PM
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Yannick Fer. Pentecostal prayer as Personal Communication and Invisible Institutional Work. Giuseppe Giordan et Linda Woodhead. A Sociology of Prayer, Ashgate, 2015, Ahgate AHRC/ESCR Religion and Society Series, 9781409455851. ⟨halshs-01163422⟩



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