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This is from an excerpt from an essay that I came across awhile back. I was wondering if others had similar references. I was also simply curious of what people thought about the account.

Ogou's Iron or Jesus' Irony: Who's Zooming Who in Diasporic Possession
Cult Activity?

by Jim Perkinson / Ecumenical Theological Seminary and Marygrove College

Sometime in the past twenty years, a videotape of a black North American
Pentecostal preacher was shown to a number of Candombles in Bahia, Brazil.
(I am unable to recall the exact place I heard or read of this occurrence,
and it will thus have to remain part of 'that anonymous production
of history that is the real thickness of popular culture creativity in the
ongoing project of' human habituation.) The Bahians watched the video
with mute interest until the preacher moved from "warm-up" to "takeoff"
in his delivery shifting from simple communication to searing incantation,
from quietude to incandescence. Suddenly, they lurched into agitated
outburst, "Xango! Xango! Xango!" They did not speak English, nor
did they know anything of' Pentecostal worship. 'They simply knew the
arrival gestures of this orixa in the flesh of human "being," and the body
language was all the eloquence they needed.

The forum may have been Christian, but the rhythm was Afro-Bahian.
A preaching of Jesus yielded a message of Xango, speaking war and thunder,
blood and bloodlines. Without asking doctrinal permission or ecclesial
affirmation. One wonders what said preacher would say if he was
shown a video of those watching the video of his preaching. He had given
more than presumably he intended, more than perhaps he would have
wished, indeed, something entirely different than his doctrine would
have permitted. What here was hallowed and what bedeviled, and where
the line between? Who was zooming who? The structure of Christian relations
with creolized traditions historically has clearly been that of the
"missionary position," but who was on top in this situation?

2001 Journal of Religion.

Truth is undoubtedly the sort of error that cannot be refuted because it was hardened into an unalterable form in the long baking process of history... Michel Foucault Hope begets many children illegitimately and prematurely. Allie M. Frazier Beware the terrible simplifiers... Jacob Burckhardt

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Wouldn't it depend on the message?

I'm not sure that the means of the message, the vehicle the message is carried in, is really very important. Is't it permissible to become "all things to all people" in the preaching as long as the message is true?

The reaction of the viewers was not a reaction to themessage, if I read the article right, only a reaction to the method of its delivery, and thus to an extent misunderstood.

It could be, could it not, that this might have been something like Paul on the Areopagus speaking in terms the listeners there would understand, or Clement of Alexandria writing to Greeks in terms of Greek philosophy, terms that they would understand? A preacher preaching like Xango telling the message of Christ seems rather like another example of that.
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
Wouldn't it depend on the message?

I'm not sure that the means of the message, the vehicle the message is carried in, is really very important. Is't it permissible to become "all things to all people" in the preaching as long as the message is true?

The reaction of the viewers was not a reaction to themessage, if I read the article right, only a reaction to the method of its delivery, and thus to an extent misunderstood.

It could be, could it not, that this might have been something like Paul on the Areopagus speaking in terms the listeners there would understand, or Clement of Alexandria writing to Greeks in terms of Greek philosophy, terms that they would understand? A preacher preaching like Xango telling the message of Christ seems rather like another example of that.


Melesi,

Perhaps the method that the Pentecostal preacher was using communicated a message that HE did not understand.... The method - the style of the black preacher - being a gift of the ancestors that we've retained but whose purpose - for Divine communication - * we * fail to understand because of our cultural alienation from Africa...

I'm reminded of the film The Gods Must Be Crazy - where the cultures are now reversed: we're the 'primitives' making sounds we do not understand...

Message of Christ? ...Indeed...
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
Wouldn't it depend on the message?

I'm not sure that the means of the message, the vehicle the message is carried in, is really very important. Is't it permissible to become "all things to all people" in the preaching as long as the message is true?

The reaction of the viewers was not a reaction to themessage, if I read the article right, only a reaction to the method of its delivery, and thus to an extent misunderstood.

It could be, could it not, that this might have been something like Paul on the Areopagus speaking in terms the listeners there would understand, or Clement of Alexandria writing to Greeks in terms of Greek philosophy, terms that they would understand? A preacher preaching like Xango telling the message of Christ seems rather like another example of that.


Melesi,

Perhaps the method that the Pentecostal preacher was using communicated a message that HE did not understand.... The method - the style of the black preacher - being a gift of the ancestors that we've retained but whose purpose - for Divine communication - * we * fail to understand because of our cultural alienation from Africa...

I'm reminded of the film The Gods Must Be Crazy - where the cultures are now reversed: we're the 'primitives' making sounds we do not understand...

Message of Christ? ...Indeed...

HB,
That is exactly the authors point. Western culture tends to be logocentric, but that is not universal. That is just one dimension of communication and transmission of information. As I said, I came across this article some time ago in my research. One of the things that people who study religion are doing more of are analysing not just words (doctrine, dogma, theology) but practice, space, and the body. Thus, while the preacher was saying one thing, his body (voice, movement, etc) manifest the orisha.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
Wouldn't it depend on the message?

I'm not sure that the means of the message, the vehicle the message is carried in, is really very important. Is't it permissible to become "all things to all people" in the preaching as long as the message is true?

The reaction of the viewers was not a reaction to themessage, if I read the article right, only a reaction to the method of its delivery, and thus to an extent misunderstood.

It could be, could it not, that this might have been something like Paul on the Areopagus speaking in terms the listeners there would understand, or Clement of Alexandria writing to Greeks in terms of Greek philosophy, terms that they would understand? A preacher preaching like Xango telling the message of Christ seems rather like another example of that.


Melesi,

Perhaps the method that the Pentecostal preacher was using communicated a message that HE did not understand.... The method - the style of the black preacher - being a gift of the ancestors that we've retained but whose purpose - for Divine communication - * we * fail to understand because of our cultural alienation from Africa...

I'm reminded of the film The Gods Must Be Crazy - where the cultures are now reversed: we're the 'primitives' making sounds we do not understand...

Message of Christ? ...Indeed...


appl

Thanks for explaining it to those who refuse to understand.
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
Perhaps, but what looks like a manifestation of the orisha could be the result of acculturation. Our churches certainly have their own culture and expected ways of doing things, handed down by example. This might be no more than physical parroting. "Is it real, or is it Memorex?"


Perhaps, but what sounds like a message from Jesus(but obviousely looks like a Shango) could be the result of acculturation.

Remember for the 'acculturation' to happen it must be a foreign culture being imposed or assimilated to. The preacher is born into this world as an AFRICAN first. SO wouldn't it be logical that the X-tianity(message) was what is being acculturated to an African tradition? And who knows what folks are saying in those tongues they speak...lol.

Thanks for posting this Kresge,

Even when I was young and would go to the 'Black Church' I said it looked like a vodoun ceremony with different words. My grandmother was offended at first, but couldn't deny the obvious.

This recently came up in a genealogy forum I am a member of. I referenced this article. If anyone grew up in the Black Protestant church, Baptist, Holiness (COGIC), with southern U.S. roots, they are very familiar with spiritual possession. Which is why I don't understand why so many folks are so against African Traditional Religions. I mean all our folks did was mask this stuff with Jesus (Xango) and Mary (Yemaya).

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