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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Performing the Holy Spirit: ritualised manifestations of faith in an African Independent Church
Author:Skelton, ColinISNI
Periodical:Journal for the Study of Religion (ISSN 1011-7601)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:African Independent Churches
healing rites
spirit possession
Abstract:The author examines the aesthetic manifestations of religious belief, particularly in the Holy Spirit, through consideration of the performative dimensions and ritualized behaviours in the church services of an African Independent Church in South Africa, namely, the New Gospel Church in Zion of Africa (NGCZA). The significance of specific objects and activities within the sacred context and how these contribute to the performance of belief among the congregants is central to this consideration. Drawing on the ritual performance theories of V. Turner and R. Schechner, the author argues that NGCZA church activity is highly influenced by a belief in the Holy Spirit. The results also indicate that religious activity enables an environment that is conducive to the emergence of liminal identities. Enabled from within a ritual frame that guides proceedings, the use of religious objects such as uniforms, clothing and drums facilitate an invocation of the Holy Spirit for the purposes of healing. Religious belief, once enacted, results in highly performative activities and actions within spiritually charged spaces. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]