Personal Nearness and Sincerity in Prayer

Richard Werbner

in Holy Hustlers, Schism, and Prophecy

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268531
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520949461 | DOI:
Personal Nearness and Sincerity in Prayer

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Procedure, lenaneo, that is straightforward, in a straight line, ditlhamaletse, is the regulation the streetwise prophet wants to uphold: the procedure that goes straight, according to the way of the church and the Holy Spirit. Procedure, in this chapter's view, is a matter of widely shared and much invoked common sense in Botswana, both in the city and in the village. This conversation between prophet and patient pitches an argument over holy water against a background of many shared understandings. Such highly significant terms, within the wider virtuous field, inform the meaning and practice of prayer as pleading and intercession, rapela, among Apostolics. Strikingly absent, and marking the limit of these terms, is sin, dibe. Prayer as intercession is free of the confession of sin. If, in such prayer, Apostolics seek mercy, bent, weak, and humble before the Almighty, they do not beg as sinners in moral torment.

Keywords: procedure; lenaneo; ditlhamaletse; church; Holy Spirit; Botswana; prophet; patient; prayer; Apostolics

Chapter.  4653 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology of Religion

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