Divine Signs: Connecting Spirit to Community / Edition 1

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Divine Signs is the concluding volume of the ethnographic trilogy about the communicative tensions in everyday American cultural life H. L. Goodall, Jr., began with Casing a Promised Land and continued with Living in the Rock n Roll Mystery. In this final work, the terms for understanding these tensions are found in a historical and mythological drama featuring Power as the embodiment of the modern, Other as the embodiment of the postmodern, and Spirit as the unifying power capable of connecting disparate selves to dangerously fragmented communities. For this study, the localized site of interpretation is in and around Pickens and Oconee Counties, South Carolina, where everyday street signs, business advertisements on billboards, signs that announce church themes, Internet postings, and other forms of public communication that invite private meanings are read as rhetorical invitations to participate in these myths and mysteries. Using themes discoverable in such public forms of communication, Goodall deconstructs a variety of communal experiences - from annual community celebrations to weekly therapy sessions in local beauty salons to the fall audience rituals of Clemson University football games - to gain a deeper appreciation of the unifying symbolic orders that enrich the interpretive possibilities of our lives and that serve as signs of our deeply spiritual connections to each other and to the planet.
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Editorial Reviews

Provides insights into the role of Protestant liberal theology of evangelical missionary enterprise in the evolution of Pan-Africanism, challenging traditional assumptions that depict Africans and African- Americans as passive recipients of Western theology. After an overview of recent literature and the missiological roots of evangelical Pan- Africanism, chapters examine the synthesis of theological liberalism and Pan-Africanism as reflected in the writings of Faduma. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809320257
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

H. L. Goodall, Jr., is a professor and head of the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The earlier two volumes of Goodall’s trilogy, Casing a Promised Land and Living in the Rock n Roll Mystery, are also available from Southern Illinois University Press.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Context, Imagination, and Interpretation 1
Pt. 1 Reality Central
1 Destination and Arrival 27
2 Boredom and Ecstasy 47
3 Difference and Possibility 73
Pt. 2 Performing Community
4 Rapture and Ecstasy: Spirituality, Football, and the Accomplishment of Community 105
5 Immanence and Angels: Experiencing Parallel Worlds 136
6 Awareness and Imagination, or Altered States of Syntax as Communication Riddles 157
Pt. 3 Highways and Surrounds
7 Vision and Reason, or The Strangeness of Instructions 179
8 Insight and Complexity: The Future of Unities 208
Afterword: Problematizing Spirit 229
Appendix 1: Power, Other, and Spirit 245
Appendix 2: Modern, Postmodern, and Spiritual Communication 248
Appendix 3: Connecting Spirit to Community through Imagination and Communication 252
References 279
Index 285
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