The Importance of Acoustic Environment in Charismatic Worshipping

Topics: Pentecostalism, Glossolalia, Charismatic Movement Pages: 16 (6693 words) Published: November 3, 2012
The importance of acoustic environment in charismatic worshipping in the Christian congregation “Prieka Vēsts”

Master studies "Social Anthropology"
Student ID nr 011272

Matīss Šteinerts

2012, Riga

The importance of acoustic environment in charismatic worshipping in the Christian congregation “Prieka Vēsts” For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day [1, Acts 2:15] In this work I would like to study theories and practice regarding religious Christian ceremonies which are practiced in charismatic churches. I will be paying special attention to worship, during which the members of the congregation find themselves in a trance-like state, characterised by speaking in tongues, euphoria and sometimes even loss of consciousness and convulsions. The topic of this work is the role of music in inducing trance. The work consists of two parts. The first part is theory, where, firstly, I will be paying attention to explanation of what is a charismatic Christian congregation, their main gospel and brief description of rituals, and, secondly, the meaning of trance and its importance in religious ceremonies, and thirdly, the role of music in inducing trance and mania in religious ceremonies from the point of view of neuroscience, I will describe trance music and the nature of transcendental music in trance rituals. The second part of the work is a description of the field work, in which I will analyse the chosen method – observation and interviews. I will analyse Christian congregation „Prieka Vēsts” („Joyful Message”) in context of the theory described in the first part. I have to add that the educational purpose of this essay is to test the ability to apply theory to practice, not to discover some new truths about one of the topics. This is more like an introduction to a research, not a research itself. Part I, Theory Charismatic and Pentecostal churches Todd Johanson1 says that there are three types of revival churches: Pentecostal churches, charismatic churches and neocharismatic churches [2:1]. Pentecostal Christianity and charismatic Christianity are the forms of Christianity where the faithful ones receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The main ideas, according to Donald Dayton 2 are as follows: (1) Jesus is the saviour, (2) Jesus heals, (3) Jesus baptises with the Holy Spirit, (4) Jesus will return [3, 19-23]. The teachings of Pentecostal churches are based upon that chapter of the bible where the Holy Spirit landed upon the apostles of Jesus during the Pentecost in the form of flames and they begun talking in tongues [1]. This is the fastest growing form or Christianity nowadays and it is spreading fast [4]. It is estimated that the followers of those churches can soon exceed the number of followers of the Catholic Church [5:435] which can be regarded as a world-wide cultural globalisation phenomenon. If in year 1910 there were less than 1.2 million charismatic Christian followers, then in 2011 there are 614 million of them, according to Todd Johanson [2:483]. Brief history. In the beginning, at around year 1901-1909 the American Pentecostal churches began its spreading around the globe and by the middle of 1920s there were the first Pentecostal churches in Latvia, those were located in Liepaja and Riga and headed by James Grēviņš [4]. All the Pentecostal churches have the same characteristic – speaking in tongues as „the highest manifestation of God’s miracle, filled with healing and transforming powers” [4]. Charismatic churches, even though born back in 1920s, became truly popular after 1950, when they segregated themselves from Pentecostal churches. Since 1945, some congregation surfaced with a distinct and specific view on spirituality if compared to the original views of Pentecostal churches. Speaking in tongues, as well as separate healing rituals began taking less and less place...
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