Can We Still Sing the Lyrics “Come Holy Spirit”?

Spirit and Place in Australian Pentecostal Worship

in Pneuma
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Australian Pentecostals, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are speaking new tongues in their worship practices, forming new poetic languages of singing and conversation relevant for spatially dislocated twenty-first-century life. Using Nimi Wariboko’s three-city model offered in Charismatic City and the Public Resurgence of Religion, this article assesses Australian pentecostal worship practice in light of his “Charismatic City.” The article suggests that this emergent, poetic language of Spirit empowerment situates the worshipper in a rhizomatic network that flows with pentecostal energies, forming a new commons or space that is the basis of its global civil society. It presents two local case studies from Hillsong Church’s pneumatological song repertoire (1996–2006), and yarning conversation rituals at Ganggalah Church led by Aboriginal Australian pastors. These new languages identify and attune participants to the Spirit’s work in the world, particularly useful for urban cities and cyberspace.

Can We Still Sing the Lyrics “Come Holy Spirit”?

Spirit and Place in Australian Pentecostal Worship

in Pneuma

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References

1

Birgit Meyer“Pentecostalism and Globalization,” in Studying Global Pentecostalism: Theories and Methodsed. Allan Anderson et al. (Berkeley CA: University of California Press 2010) 113–132; “Material Mediations and Religious Practices of World-Making” in Religion across Media: From Early Antiquity to Late Modernity ed. Peter Lang (New York: Peter Lang2003) 1–19; From Imagined Communities to Aesthetic Formations: Religious Mediations Sensational Forms and Styles of Binding Aesthetic Formations: Media Religion and the Senses (New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2009) 1–28; M. Ingalls C. Landau and T. Wagner Christian Congregational Music: Performance Identity and Experience (London: Ashgate 2013).

2

N. WaribokoThe Charismatic City and the Public Resurgence of Religion: A Pentecostal Social Ethics of Cosmopolitan Urban Life (London: Palgrave Macmillan2014) 185.

4

I. Howard Marshall“The Significance of Pentecost,” Scottish Journal of Theology 30 no. 4 (1977): 347–369; Frank D. Macchia “Tongues as a Sign: Towards a Sacramental Understanding of Pentecostal Experience” Pneuma 15 no. 1 (1993): 61–76.

5

Sherilyn Rae Benvenuti“The Reconstruction of a Pentecostal Social Ethic of Racial Reconciliation: The Work of Cecil Robeck Jr, H. Vinson Synan and Leonard Lovett” (PhD diss., University of Southern California, August 2000); Frank D. Macchia, “From Azusa to Memphis: Evaluating the Racial Reconciliation Dialogue among Pentecostals,” Pneuma 17 no. 2 (Fall 1995): 203–218.

10

Joel Robbins“The Globalization of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity,” Annual Review of Anthropology 33 (October 2004): 117–143.

11

Arjun Appadurai“Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy,” Theory Culture and Society 7 no. 2 (1990) 5.

16

Amos Yong“Improvisation, Indigenization, and Inspiration: Theological Reflections on the Sound and Spirit of Global Renewal,” in The Spirit of Praise: Music and Worship in Global Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianityed. Monique M. Ingalls and Amos Yong (University Park PA: Penn State University Press 2015) 26.

18

Donald E. Miller and Tetsunao YamamoriGlobal Pentecostalism: The New Face of Christian Social Engagement (Berkley and Los Angeles: University of California Press2007) 142.

19

W.J. JenningsThe Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (New Haven: Yale University Press2010); T. Asad Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press 2009).

20

Amos Yong“Discerning the Spirit(S): A Pentecostal-Charismatic Contribution to Christian Theology of Religions,” Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series no. 20 (2000): 179.

22

G. MartiWorship across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation (New York: Oxford University Press2012) 98.

24

Tanya Riches“The Evolving Theological Emphasis of Hillsong Worship (1996–2007),” Australasian Pentecostal Studies 13 (2010): 87–133; “Shout to the Lord: Music and Change at Hillsong 1996–2007” (Thesis Australian Catholic University 2010 available at http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/digitaltheses/public/adt-acuvp299.12092011/).

25

Stuart Kirsch“Indigenous Movements” American Ethnologist 34 no. 2 (2007): 303; M. Castells The Power of Identity: The Information Age: Economy Society and Culture (Hoboken NJ: Wiley-Blackwell 2009).

26

Nimi WaribokoThe Charismatic City and the Public Resurgence of Religion: A Pentecostal Social Ethics of Cosmopolitan Urban Life (London: Palgrave Macmillan2014) Kindle Loc 138.

27

Harvey CoxFire from Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the 21st Century (New York: Avalon2013) 11; Wariboko The Charismatic City 91.

28

Emile DurkheimThe Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (New York: Free Press1912) 171.

31

WaribokoNigerian Pentecostalism127.

32

Kay Anderson and Susan Smith“Editorial: Emotional Geographies,” Transactions of the Institute of British geographers 26 no. 1 (2001): 3.

33

WaribokoThe Charismatic City and the Public Resurgence of Religion18.

34

WaribokoNigerian Pentecostalism128. Although Wariboko highlights the collective “spirit” as potentially evil this is a counterintuitive thought in Australian pentecostal contexts (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) in which the Spirit-led community is deemed to hold discerning wisdom to actively move a meeting toward truth. Perhaps I struggle because I find no examples of public exorcism to draw upon but instead only practices of rebuke and silencing of demonic voices. Rather than conjecture further on the reasons for this I will note that more research is required to understand better how evil is discerned in a corporate Australian spiritual event and how it relates to influential African understandings of the demonic.

35

WaribokoThe Charismatic City and the Public Resurgence of Religion37.

36

Ibid.122.

38

J.K. OluponaCity of 201 Gods: Ilé-Ifè in Time Space and the Imagination (Berkeley: University of California Press2011).

39

WaribokoThe Charismatic City and the Public Resurgence of Religion99.

40

CoxFire from Heavenxv.

41

WaribokoThe Charismatic City and the Public Resurgence of Religion94.

42

Ibid.100.

45

WaribokoThe Charismatic City and the Public Resurgence of Religion63.

46

Ibid.100.

47

Ibid.1.

48

Ibid.87.

49

Ibid.59.

50

Ibid.45.

51

Ibid.5349.

52

Amartya Sen“Well-Being, Agency and Freedom: The Dewey Lectures 1984,” The Journal of Philosophy 82 no. 4 (1985): 169–221; Ingrid Robeyns “The Capability Approach: A Theoretical Survey” Journal of Human Development 6 no. 1 (2005): 93–117.

53

WaribokoThe Charismatic City and the Public Resurgence of Religion97.

54

Ibid.177.

55

Ibid.104.

56

C. Malabou ed.What Should We Do with Our Brain? (New York: Fordham University Press2009) 12; Wariboko The Charismatic City and the Public Resurgence of Religion 104.

57

WaribokoThe Charismatic City and the Public Resurgence of Religion104.

59

Ian Lilley“Archaeology, Diaspora and Decolonization,” Journal of Social Archaeology 6 no. 1 (2006): 35.

60

Ibid.40.

61

John Connell“Hillsong: A Megachurch in the Sydney Suburbs,” Australian Geographer 36 no. 3 (2005): 315–332; E.H. McIntyre “Brand of Choice: Why Hillsong Is Winning Sales and Souls” Journal for the Academic Study of Religion 20 no. 2 (2007): 175–194.

64

EvansOpen up the Doors77.

65

Tanya Riches and Tom Wagner“The Evolution of Hillsong Music: From Australian Pentecostal Congregation into Global Brand,” Australian Journal of Communication 39 no. 1 (2012): 17–34.

66

Riches“Shout to the Lord: Music and Change at Hillsong 1996–2007” 13.

69

Riches“Shout to the Lord: Music and Change at Hillsong 1996–2007” 50.

70

Mark Evans“Hillsong Abroad: Tracing the Songlines of Contemporary Pentecostal Music,” in Spirit of Praiseed. Monique M. Ingalls and Amos Yong (University Park PA: Penn State University Press 2015) 183.

71

Riches“The Evolving Theological Emphasis of Hillsong Worship (1996–2007)” 92.

75

Ben Fielding and Matt Crocker“This I Believe (the Creed),” in No Other Name (Sydney: Hillsong Music Australia 2014).

76

Hillsong Worship“This I Believe (the Creed) Song Story,” in Hillsong Collecteded. Hillsong Church (2014).

77

EvansOpen up the Doors152.

78

McIntyre“Brand of Choice: Why Hillsong Is Winning Sales and Souls” 181.

83

Bobbie HoustonThe Sisterhood (Sydney: HarperCollins2016) 41.

84

Dawn Bessarab and Bridget Ng’andu“Yarning About Yarning as a Legitimate Method in Indigenous Research,” International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies 3 no. 1 (2010) 37–50. Aboriginal scholars present “yarning” as a decolonizing action-research methodology (Bronwyn L. Fredericks et al. “Engaging the Practice of Yarning in Action Research” Action Learning and Action Research Journal 17 no. 2 [2010]: 7–19; Lynore K. Geia Barbara Hayes and Kim Usher “Yarning/ Aboriginal Storytelling: Towards an Understanding of an Indigenous Perspective and Its Implications for Research Practice” Contemporary Nurse 46 no. 1 [2013]: 13–17).

85

Judy AtkinsonTrauma Trails Recreating Song Lines: The Transgenerational Effects of Trauma in Indigenous Australia (North Melbourne, Australia: Spinifex Press2002).

87

AtkinsonTrauma Trails4.

88

Melissa Walker et al.“ ‘Yarning’ as a Method for Community-Based Health Research with Indigenous Women: The Indigenous Women’s Wellness Research Project,” Health Care for Women International (2013): 8.

90

NewbiginThe Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission17.

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