By Birgit Meyer
This publication examines the incorporation of newly available mass media into practices of spiritual mediation in various settings together with the Pentecostal Church and Islamic routine, in addition to using non secular varieties and snapshot within the sphere of radio and cinema.
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Extra info for Aesthetic Formations: Media, Religion, and the Senses
In this sense, spiritual power materializes in the medium, and is predicated to touch people in an immediate manner. , Hoover 2006). My own research on “pentecostalite” video-films in Ghana (Meyer 2003a, 2004a, 2005a, 2005b), for example, investigates the intersection of these films with the tremendous popularity of Pentecostal-Charismatic churches. Intriguingly, audiences understand technology as acting in the service of 16 Birgit Meyer revealing the whereabouts of the “powers of darkness,” which include demonized indigenous gods and spirits, as well as witchcraft and occult forces such as mermaids and Indian spirits.
While for Candomblé, as for Afrikania, public outreach is problematic, this is central to Pentecostal proselytization, which entails its own ambivalences and paradoxes. As Martijn Oosterbaan shows, encroachment upon the public realm is haunted by the danger of polluting the message. Churches such as the Brazilian neo-Pentecostal Igreja Universal run their own media studies with high-tech church services, talk shows and soaps, news and politics, and as the world is regarded as a theatre for the struggle between God and the Devil, they also launch and support Pentecostal candidates in elections.
As I pointed out in Section I, in earlier work on the making of communities, the bodily dimension has been quite neglected. Of course, this neglect did by no means imply that this dimension did not actually matter in social life: the point is that it did not capture much scholarly attention. However, the strong interest in the body, the senses, experience and aesthetics in the social and cultural sciences today signals an increasing awareness that the emergence and sustenance of social formations depends on styles that form and bind subjects not only through cognitive imaginations, but also through molding the senses and building bodies.
Aesthetic Formations: Media, Religion, and the Senses by Birgit Meyer