Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
J A Kapalo;
Charms, Charmers and Charming
Authority, Narrative and Performance in Charm and Prayer
Conference Organising Committee Chairperson
Optional Fields

This paper offers some theoretical reflections on the relationship between the genres of charm and prayer from the perspective of `narrative experience¿ and performance. I pay special attention to the genre of `archaic prayer¿ and its relationship to verbal charms. The scholarly distinction between these genres often cuts across emic categories and insider knowledge structures. Building on some theoretical observations by Hungarian ethnographers Éva Pócs and Irén Lovász amongst others, this paper will examine the discursive or propositional content of Gagauz archaic prayers and charms in relation to the experiential and performative dimension of the texts in context. I will also consider some important parallels in relation to the authority of scripture and its performative role within contemporary Neo-Pentecostal Christianity.