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Accepted Paper:

Intellectual discipline and charismatic experience. The quest for religious identity of a small evangelical community in Iași  
Mircea Paduraru (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper investigates the identitarian transformations of a most particular Pentecostal church in Iasi, starting with the rise of an elitist, highly intellectual approach to religious experience and ending with the triumph of an experiential approach to the sacred and charisma.

Paper long abstract:

The paper investigates the identitarian transformations of a most particular Evangelical-Pentecostal church in Iasi, Romania. Minority in relation to the Eastern Orthodox majority, because they are evangelicals, but also in relation to the specificity of the local Pentecostal tradition (since they sing music in Romanian, Latin and Greek, practice a sacramental-liturgical theology and church-service, mostly of patristic and neo-patristic inspiration, with significant Roman-Catholic and Lutheran features, also integrating the celebration of the charismatic experiences), this community scandalizes the local evangelical mind and puzzles the orthodox and the catholic elites from Iași. The quest for identity is analyzed in terms of a tension between the intellectual discipline of the community's members and the "Pentecostal" need of charismatic experience. The tension takes successively different shapes (a. intellectual discipline over charismatic experience; b. intellectual discipline and charismatic experience; c. charismatic experience over intellectual discipline; d. charismatic experience versus intellectual discipline) and is analyzed diachronically in relation to the practices, the aesthetics, and material conditions of each phase of the quest.

At the same time, the paper is an exploration of Primiano's concept of vernacular religion, also integrating Talal Asad's, Clifford Geertz's and Birgit Meyer's reflections on religion.

Panel Reli03
Religious in idiosyncrasy. New religious movements in the 21st century [SIEF Ethnology of Religion Working Group]
  Session 1 Wednesday 17 April, 2019, -