Pentecostalism as Cultural Resistance
Music and Tongue-speaking as Collective Response in a Brooklyn Church
Keywords:Pentecostalism, culture, spiritual capital, power, tonguespeaking, Afro-Caribbean religion
Based on ethnographic research in an Afro-Caribbean Pentecostal Church in Brooklyn, this article focuses on Pentecostal music and tongue-speaking as a form of cultural resistance. At least in urban settings, Pentecostalism is a creative cultural response to collectively experienced structural problems. Scholars have demonstrated the institutional challenges for Pentecostalism including its moderating effect on tongue-speaking. This article explores how one congregation maintains vitality through the practice of speaking in tongues, music, and prayer, as a type of spiritual capital. Spiritual capital explains how Pentecostalism provides a unique form of power for members to show their own agency and resistance to institutionalization as well as structural subordination. This analysis provides a framework for understanding music, charisma, and religious vitality in a Pentecostal congregation and its relationship with the larger cultural context.
Bourdieu, P. “The Forms of Capital”. In J. Richardson (ed.), Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education. New York: Greenwood, 1986: 241–58.
Butler, M. L. “The Weapons of our Warfare: Music, Positionality, and Transcendence Among Haitian Pentecostals”. Caribbean Studies 36.2 (2008): 23–64. https://doi.org/10.1353/crb.0.0093
Cartledge, M. J. (ed.). Speaking in Tongues: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives. London: Paternoster Press, 2006.
Cox, H. “Jazz and Pentecostalism”. Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions 84 (1993): 181–8. https://doi.org/10.3406/assr.1993.1497
Emerson, R., R. I. Fretz and L. L. Shaw. Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, 2nd edn. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2011. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226206868.001.0001
Goffman, E. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.
Hochschild, A. R. “Emotion Work, Feeling Rules, and Social Structure”. The American Journal of Sociology 85.3 (1979): 551–75. https://doi.org/10.1086/227049
Ingalls, M. M. and A. Yong (eds). The Spirit of Praise: Music and Worship in Global Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2015.
Johansson, C. “Music in the Pentecostal Movement”. In E. Paterson and E. Rybarczyk (eds), The Future of Pentecostalism in the United States. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007: 49–70.
Lincoln, C. E. and L. Mamiya. The Black Church in the African-American Experience. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1990. https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822381648
Macchiaroloa, F. J. W. Barrett, M. Boyle, J. Goodale, R. A. Stack and J. P. Gifford. Urban Renewal in Brownsville: The Management of Urban Renewal in Brownsville Area 15, 1960–1973. New York: State Study Commission for New York City, 1973.
Marina, P. Chasing Religion in the Caribbean: Ethnographic Journeys from Antigua to Trinidad. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-56100-8
Marina, P. Getting the Holy Ghost: Urban Ethnography in a Pentecostal Tongue-Speaking Church. Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2014.
Marx, K. The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. Rockville, MD: Wildside Press, 2008. https://doi.org/10.1522/030145289
Massey, D. S. and N. A. Denton. American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.
McRoberts, O. M. Streets of Glory: Church and Community in a Black Urban Neighborhood. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
O’Dea, T. “Five Dilemmas of Institutionalization”. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 1.1 (October 1961): 30–41. https://doi.org/10.2307/1385174
Paris, A. E. Black Pentecostalism: Southern Religion in an Urban World. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1982.
Poloma, M. M. Main Street Mystics: The Toronto Blessing and Reviving Pentecostalism. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, 2003.
Poloma, M. M. The Assemblies of God at the Crossroads: Charisma and Institutional Dilemmas. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1989.
Pritchett, W. E. Brownsville, Brooklyn: Blacks, Jews, and the Changing Face of the Ghetto. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2002.
Thornton, S. Club Cultures: Music, Media, and Subcultural Capital. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1996.
Weber, M. “The Social Psychology of World Religions”. In H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills (eds, trans.), From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1946: 267–301.
Wilkinson, M. “The Institutionalization of Religion: Impediment or Impetus for Godly Love?”. in A. Yong and M. Lee (eds), Godly Love: Impediments and Possibilities. New York: Lexington Books, 2012): 153–70.
Wilkinson, M. and P. Althouse (eds). Pentecostals and the Body. Leiden: Brill, 2017.
Wilson, W. J. When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1996.
Wuthnow, R. “How Religious Groups Promote Forgiving: A National Study”. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 39.2 (2000): 125–39. https://doi.org/10.1111/0021-8294.00011
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.