Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Emotion, ritual, and the individual: the production of community in evangelicalism


Walthert, Rafael (2013). Emotion, ritual, and the individual: the production of community in evangelicalism. Journal of Religion in Europe, 6(1):90-119.

Abstract

This paper asks about the production of religious community in modern society: How can the success of a strict Evangelical community in a secularized environment be explained? To find an answer to this question, an approach to emotion based on Randall Collins’ interaction ritual chain theory is applied to data from participant observation in an Evangelical church in Switzerland. The weekly service as a highly orchestrated event characterized by a mutual focus and rhythmic entrainment imbues the communal symbols with emotions and plausibility. Through ritual interaction, three potentially disruptive communal tensions are transformed into solidarity: (1) highly transcendent theological concepts are translated into a simplified form which can be ritualized and gain immanence in the ritual actions of the participants; (2) the Evangelical emphasis on the individual and its religious decision on the semantic side are structurally transformed into the confirmation and reproduction of the community; (3) through the collectively shared emotions the potentially disruptive individual tendency towards immedi- ate emotional gratification becomes aligned with the norms of the community.

Abstract

This paper asks about the production of religious community in modern society: How can the success of a strict Evangelical community in a secularized environment be explained? To find an answer to this question, an approach to emotion based on Randall Collins’ interaction ritual chain theory is applied to data from participant observation in an Evangelical church in Switzerland. The weekly service as a highly orchestrated event characterized by a mutual focus and rhythmic entrainment imbues the communal symbols with emotions and plausibility. Through ritual interaction, three potentially disruptive communal tensions are transformed into solidarity: (1) highly transcendent theological concepts are translated into a simplified form which can be ritualized and gain immanence in the ritual actions of the participants; (2) the Evangelical emphasis on the individual and its religious decision on the semantic side are structurally transformed into the confirmation and reproduction of the community; (3) through the collectively shared emotions the potentially disruptive individual tendency towards immedi- ate emotional gratification becomes aligned with the norms of the community.

Statistics

Altmetrics

Downloads

274 downloads since deposited on 08 Nov 2013
110 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Religious Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:200 Religion
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:08 Nov 2013 13:52
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 23:33
Publisher:Brill Academic Publishers
ISSN:1874-8910
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1163/18748929-00601006

Download

Download PDF  'Emotion, ritual, and the individual: the production of community in evangelicalism'.
Preview
Filetype: PDF
Size: 257kB
View at publisher