American Sociological Association

Enchanting Self-discipline: Methodical Reflexivity and the Search for the Supernatural in Charismatic Christian Testimonial Practice

Social science has long operated under the assumption that enchantment, seeking out this-worldly manifestations of the supernatural, impedes the cultivation of self-discipline. How, then, to account for a Christian brotherhood whose testimonial practice is at once enchanting and disciplining of the self? In this article, I define self-discipline in terms of its distinctly reflexive (self-aimed and self-governed) and methodical (systematic and auto-regenerative) character, and in doing so, I disentangle the concept from rational calculation as one (among other possible) means of disciplining the self. I draw on Ricoeur’s theory of personal identity to theorize a relationship of the self whose reflexive and methodical character is found not in rational calculation but in arational narration. I then show how the testimonial practice of a charismatic Christian businessmen’s brotherhood is disciplining of the self insofar as it is enchanting, how the practice is methodical and reflexive because it is one of arational narration.

Authors

Graham Hill

Volume

35

Issue

4

Starting Page

288

Ending Page

311