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Rowan, Kirsty (2016) '"Who are you in this body?" Identifying demons and the path to deliverance in a London Pentecostal church.' Language in Society. (In Press)

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Abstract

This article is an examination of the interaction between evangelists and participants of a demonic deliverance (exorcism) ceremony in a London, UK Pentecostal church. The data is taken from an online recording and transcribed using Conversation Analysis conventions. A familiar feature of exorcism practice is the initial demand for the demon’s identity. This study suggests that the importance of asking this question is due to it being procedurally strategic in modelling a performative path of the deliverance ceremony, which results in ritual efficacy. In particular, it is proposed that the omission of the question asking for the identity of the demon causes the deliverance path to become temporarily disrupted. This disruption is the result of a loss of thematic mapping between adverse life events and the causal agency within this specific sphere of socio-cultural activity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: religion, exorcism, possession, diaspora, spirits
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 00474045
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2015 10:47
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/21610

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