Accepted paper:

Technology and prayer atmospheres among Pentecostals in Ghana

Authors:

Bruno Reinhardt (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation explores the atmospheric entanglements between Pentecostal prayer techniques and technologies in Ghana. It highlights Pentecostals' situated and relational engagement with "technology affordances" and points to some analytical limitations of the "religion as media" paradigm.

Paper long abstract:

The recent media turn in the anthropology of religion has reinvigorated research about religion and technology by identifying these domains ontologically through the notion of mediation (religion as media). In this article, I unpack mediation and propose an alternative set of concepts to tackle this issue, theoretical tools that allow me to recognize the atmospheric quality (Gibson, Hasse, Eisenlohr) of Christian charismatic faith and presence in Ghana. Charismatic atmospheres persistently dissolve the boundaries of discernible - organic and mechanical -mediators into the ecological medium while unleashing from it special affordances. I examine ethnographically what different technologies afford to three distinctive prayer methods and the atmospheres they engender: corporate revivals, meditation, and impartation. I conclude by arguing that religious atmospheres provide a specific solution to the question of immediacy or, as I prefer, transcendence, in material religion.

panel P105
Mobile materials and technologies of enchantment