Words in motion and the semiotics of the unseen in two Korean churches

  • Harkness N
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Abstract

I analyze the self-anchoring metasemiotics of two pastors from two Christian churches in Seoul, South Korea. I argue that the conceptualization of 'The Word' as an inerrable thing-in-motion, rather than as an iterable event of semiotic production, provides the ideological grounds for explaining the sense of a shared experience of entities not available for systematic, public demonstration or manipulation. I show how sermonic directives provide denominationally distinct (Presbyterian and Pentecostal) models for conceptualizing non-linguistic but semiotically rich and religiously powerful experiences by linking the perceived behavior of the agents of such experiences to the perceived behavior of linguistic tokens. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Language ideology
  • Protestant Christianity
  • Religious experience
  • Semiotics
  • Sermons
  • South Korea

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Authors

  • Nicholas Harkness

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