collective intimacy

Kirsch, Thomas G. 2022 Collective Intimacy in Pentecostal Christianity. In Domestic Demons and the Intimate Uncanny, edited by Thomas G. Kirsch, Kirsten Mahlke, and Rijk van Dijk. London: Routledge, 49-69.

"Scholars have come up with a wide range of explanations for why Pentecostal Christianity has had such an extraordinary appeal over the last decades for people worldwide. Some have pointed to the great importance Pentecostalism gives to the power of the Holy Spirit, which allows religious practitioners to experience and feel empowered by the immanent presence of God on earth. In this chapter, the author proposes an alternative explanation. He argues that one of the appeals of Pentecostalism lies in the specific pneumatological way in which it deals with what are imagined to be precarious and even socially dangerous forms of intimacy between humans and spirits, as exemplified by spirit-assisted witchcraft. The author provides a general discussion of human-spirit relationships, in which he also introduces the heuristic distinction between ‘dyadic’ and ‘triadic’ constellations of spirit possession."