Stories, Senses and the Charismatic Relation
A Reflexive Ethnography of Christian Experience
Stories, Senses and the Charismatic Relation offers a uniquely intimate and auto-ethnographic exploration of Christian experience, rendering a deep, phenomenological account of how devotional worlds become real – how they are experienced, shaped, constituted and performed by those who live them.
The book starts from a reflexive exploration of the author’s own experiences of the divine, considers the spiritual journeys of family members and the ‘spiritual community’ of which he was a part, and draws on ethnographic fieldwork in the southern Balkans where that community was based. Jamie Barnes considers three main elements: firstly, the role that sensory aspects of experience play in constituting one’s lived world and one’s ideas about the kinds of beings inhabiting it; secondly, how stories and metaphors are tactically employed, not only in the process of expressing aspects of past experience, but also in shaping and forming both desired worlds and future pathways; thirdly, how such sensed, narrated and lived worlds are tentatively held together - in hope, trust and love – through charismatic relationships of devotion with a divine Other.
This unusual and innovative ethnography offers a unique and reflexive view from within the world of Christian experience.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Stories, Senses and the Charismatic Relation; 2.Spiritual Community: Metaphorical Moves, Open Hearts and Invited Intruders; 3.Open Doors, Crossing Thresholds and Navigating Relational Paths; 4.Closed Doors, Christian Disciples and the Charismatic Dilemma; Conclusion
Jamie Barnes is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Sussex, where he also completed his doctorate in Social Anthropology.