Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226749419 Will Publish December 2020
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226749389 Will Publish December 2020
An e-book edition will be published.

Glossolalia and the Problem of Language

Nicholas Harkness

Glossolalia and the Problem of Language

Nicholas Harkness

240 pages | 28 halftones, 5 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2020
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226749419 Will Publish December 2020
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226749389 Will Publish December 2020
E-book $35.00 ISBN: 9780226749556 Will Publish December 2020
Speaking in tongues is a worldwide phenomenon that dates back to the early Christian church. Commonly referred to as “glossolalia,” it has been the subject of curiosity and vigorous debate for the past two centuries. Glossolalia is both celebrated as supernatural gift and condemned as semiotic alchemy. For some it is mystical speech that exceeds what words can do, and for others it is mere gibberish, empty of meaning. At the heart of these differences is glossolalia’s puzzling relationship to language.

Glossolalia and the Problem of Language investigates speaking in tongues in South Korea, where it is practiced widely across denominations and congregations. Nicholas Harkness shows how the popularity of glossolalia in Korea lies at the intersection of numerous, often competing social forces, interwoven religious legacies, and spiritual desires that have been amplified by Christianity’s massive institutionalization. As evangelicalism continues to spread worldwide, Glossolalia and the Problem of Language analyzes one of its most enigmatic practices while marking a major advancement in our understanding of the power of language and its limits.
Contents
Note on Romanization

Introduction
 
The Problem of Language

Other Anthropological Objects
 
Chapter Overview

1    Abundance and the Ambivalent Gift
 
Glossolalic Dreams and Sociolinguistic Realities

Intimacy, Syncretism, and Class

A Theology of Fullness

2    The Limits of Language
 
Ideological Core, Ideological Limits

The Productivity of Limits

The Communicative Production of Reality

3    Feeling the Same Thing
 
Circulation and the Spirit of Sameness

The Word as Denotational Entity

The Word as Spiritual Entity

4    Fusion and Force
 
Billy Graham and Billy Kim

Interpretation and the Transitive “Principal” of Evangelism

Chronotopic Formulations

Voice and Voicing

Universalizing Individuation

5    Revelations
 
Gospel and Gossip

The Prosperity of Secrecy

Transparency and Trust

Contact and Concealment

6    Deception
 
Danger in Isolation

Doubting Real Glossolalia

Forms, Feelings, Forces

The Devil Next Door

Conclusion
 
Appendix: The Nineteenth-Century Invention of Glossolalia; an Etymological Reconstruction

Acknowledgments

Notes

Bibliography
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