Language, Charisma, and Creativity: Ritual Life in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal
Thomas Csordas's eloquent analysis of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal answers one of the primary callings of anthropology: to stimulate critical reflection by making the exotic seem familiar and the familiar appear strange. Csordas describes the movement's internal diversity and traces its development and expansion across 30 years. He offers insights into the contemporary nature of rationality, the transformation of space and time in Charismatic daily life, gender discipline, the blurring of boundaries between ritual and everyday life, the sense of community forged through shared ritual participation, and the creativity of language and metaphor in prophetic utterance. Charisma, Csordas proposes, is a collective self-process, located not in the personality of a leader, but in the rhetorical resources mobilized by participants in ritual performance. His examination of ritual language and ritual performance illuminates this theory in relation to the postmodern condition of culture.
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