Davie-Kessler, “‘Discover Your Destiny’: Sensation, Time, and Bible Reading among Nigerian Pentecostals”

Davie-Kessler, Jesse. 2016.  “Discover Your Destiny”: Sensation, Time, and Bible Reading among Nigerian Pentecostals. Anthropologica 58(1):1-14.

 Abstract: Pentecostal Christians in southwest Nigeria claim to experience divine revelations of personal destiny by reading scripture. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, this article argues that members’ sensual reading practices are entangled with perceptions of time. Church members use bodily experience to construct a near future that they understand as continuous with the lived present. To examine the production of embodied religious temporality, I use a stage-based analysis of Pentecostal hermeneutic development. Church members gradually progress from “beginning” to “advanced” stages of Bible reading, generating new relationships to the self and to a Christian cosmology.

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