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Document Description
TitleCharismatic culture in St. John's, Newfoundland : a crossdenominational study of religious folklife in three groups
AuthorCartwright, Christine A. (Christine Ann), 1955-
DescriptionThesis (Ph.D.)--Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1983. Folklore
Paginationxviii, 669 leaves : ill., maps.
SubjectPentecostalism--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's
Degree GrantorMemorial University of Newfoundland. Dept. of Folklore
Spatial CoverageCanada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--St. John's
NotesBibliography: leaves 632-659.
AbstractThis is an ethnoscienitific study of three charismatic Christian prayer groups in St. John's, Newfoundland (Roman Catholic, Neopentecostal, and interdenominational), focusing upon the culture which provides the basis for their frequent interactions and sense of unity. It places the groups in diachronic and synchronic context, discussing their development and relations to continental patterns of religious and cultural change, as well as to local religious traditions. Its ultimate purpose is to provide detailed ethnographic data toward the definition of charismatics as a religio-cultural group, usefully analysed across denominational and demographic classifications. -- The study focuses especially upon relations between belief, language, and experience in everyday life. Chapters focus upon the experiential nature of charismatic ritual; of conversion, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and divine inspiration; the administration and reception of the nine charismata or spiritual gifts; religious thought in everyday life; and the symbolic system and its functions. Community discussions, analytic theorizing, and experimentation are shown to play crucial roles in the formation and revision of religious beliefs and customs and in the interpretation of mystical experiences. Dialectical thought, using experiences to interpret biblical metaphor and metaphor to interpret experiences, is also typical of local charismatics. Formal logic, biblical metaphor, sensory data, and community consensus are shown to form a coherent system through which customs and beliefs develop and change. - Previous categorizations of Pentecostal and charismatic groups as forms of cathartic or compensatory religion, allied with Haitian Voudon, espiritismo, and shamanistic systems, are challenged on the basis of the St. John's data. It is argued that these categorizations have largely ignored the structure and phenomenology of native thought, and that glossolalia, spirit possession, trance, and ecstasy are etic concepts, not necessarily indicative of cultural or phenomenologicial similarity. The absence of trance, of pathology, and of obvious demographic commonalities between local charismatics argue for the analysis of their religious culture as culture, and not as cult.
Resource TypeElectronic thesis or dissertation
FormatImage/jpeg; Application/pdf
SourcePaper copy kept in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Memorial University Libraries
Local Identifier75272086
RightsThe author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
CollectionElectronic Theses and Dissertations
Scanning StatusCompleted
PDF File(551.63 MB) --
CONTENTdm file name119867.cpd