In this Book

A Problem of Presence
summary
The Friday Masowe apostolics of Zimbabwe refer to themselves as "the Christians who don’t read the Bible." They claim they do not need the Bible because they receive the Word of God "live and direct" from the Holy Spirit. In this insightful and sensitive historical ethnography, Matthew Engelke documents how this rejection of scripture speaks to longstanding concerns within Christianity over mediation and authority. The Bible, of course, has been a key medium through which Christians have recognized God’s presence. But the apostolics perceive scripture as an unnecessary, even dangerous, mediator. For them, the materiality of the Bible marks a distance from the divine and prohibits the realization of a live and direct faith.

Situating the Masowe case within a broad comparative framework, Engelke shows how their rejection of textual authority poses a problem of presence—which is to say, how the religious subject defines, and claims to construct, a relationship with the spiritual world through the semiotic potentials of language, actions, and objects. Written in a lively and accessible style, A Problem of Presence makes important contributions to the anthropology of Christianity, the history of religions in Africa, semiotics, and material culture studies.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. iii-v
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CONTENTS
  2. pp. vii-vii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
  2. pp. ix-ix
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  2. pp. xi-xiii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. MAP OF ZIMBABWE
  2. pp. xv-xv
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-45
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1. Up in Smoke: Humility, Humiliation, and the Christian Book
  2. pp. 46-78
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. The Early Days of Johane Masowe
  2. pp. 79-108
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. The Question of Leadership: The Friday Message after Johane
  2. pp. 109-137
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. Mutemo in Three Portraits
  2. pp. 138-170
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. Listening for the True Bible: Live and Direct Language, Part I
  2. pp. 171-199
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 6. Singing and the Metaphysics of Sound: Live and Direct Language, Part II
  2. pp. 200-223
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 7. The Substance of Healing
  2. pp. 224-243
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 244-252
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. NOTES
  2. pp. 253-266
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. REFERENCES
  2. pp. 267-289
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. INDEX
  2. pp. 291-304
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.