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Aliens and Strangers?The Struggle for Coherence in the Everyday Lives of Evangelicals$
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Anna Strhan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198724469

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724469.001.0001

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The Listening ‘I’

The Listening ‘I’

(p.109) 4 The Listening ‘I’
Aliens and Strangers?

Anna Strhan

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the formation of evangelicals as listening subjects, concentrating on the processes through which they develop an orientation towards transcendence through this. It considers what it means to listen in modernity, drawing on Michel de Certeau’s argument that the loss of the ability to hear God speak is associated with a fracturing of meaning as individuals understand themselves as authors of their own meanings and identities. The chapter describes the techniques through which members of the church seek to form themselves as listening subjects, and discusses the significance of ‘rationality’ in this. The chapter then explores how church members’ modes of listening are an interruption to the everyday rhythms of the city, encouraging them to seek to know God as a source of coherence and meaning, and to discipline their minds and bodies in attentiveness to the demand to listen to Him.

Keywords:   listening, De Certeau, modernity, obedience, discipline, coherence, rationality

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