Fabian, “Talk about Prayer”

Fabian, Johannes. 2015. Talk About Prayer: An Ethnographic Commentary. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Publisher’s Description: Talk about Prayer is an experiment in writing ethnography, a commentary on a conversation with Mama Régine Tshitanda, the leader of a Charismatic prayer group (groupe de prière) in Lubumbashi (Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo) and members of her family in 1986. Fabian’s research on expressions and practices of popular culture, including popular religion, was conducted during two visits to Katanga in 1985 and 1986. He discusses controversial issues in the study of the Global Charismatic Movement as seen at the time and gives a detailed account of the circumstances and events that led to the recorded meeting and how the ethnographic document on which this book is based was made. Central to the book is the authors understanding of anthropology of religion, in that research should be based on communicative ethnography, an approach that involves confrontation between researchers and interlocutors as well between their views of the world. Talk about Prayer is one such argument for keeping open the debate on a critical stance toward religion.

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