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.
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).
I. Howard Marshall“The Significance of Pentecost,”Scottish Journal of Theology30 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.
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,”Pneuma17 no. 2 (Fall 1995): 203–218.
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.
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).
Tanya Riches“The Evolving Theological Emphasis of Hillsong Worship (1996–2007),”Australasian Pentecostal Studies13 (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/).
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.
Amartya Sen“Well-Being, Agency and Freedom: The Dewey Lectures 1984,”The Journal of Philosophy82 no. 4 (1985): 169–221; Ingrid Robeyns “The Capability Approach: A Theoretical Survey” Journal of Human Development 6 no. 1 (2005): 93–117.
John Connell“Hillsong: A Megachurch in the Sydney Suburbs,”Australian Geographer36 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.
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.
Dawn Bessarab and Bridget Ng’andu“Yarning About Yarning as a Legitimate Method in Indigenous Research,”International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies3 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 : 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 : 13–17).