Functions of Narrative Genres for Lived Religion

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Tuija Hovi
Publisher: The Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History
Publication year: 2014
Journal: Approaching Religion
Volume number: 4
Issue number: 1
Start page: 80
End page: 88
eISSN: 1799-3121


The article presents the object and results of a study which combines the psychology of religion and folkloristics in the form of a qualitative analysis of empirical ethnographic material compiled from sources in a local neo-charismatic congregation called the ‘Word of Life’. Personal narrative is discussed as a genre which represents the collective tradition of a religious community. It is a socially-learned speech act and a means of interpreting and sharing religious experience, thus constructing and confirming the faith of the community, both individually and collectively. In the neo-charismatic tradition, everyday speech draws on a literal (biblical) tradition as well as on socially-shared narrative genres such as ritual testimonies, prophecies, sermons and casual, personal narratives of co-believers. The faith-creative power of these stories can be found in their performative utterances and evaluative structures as well as in non-communication.


Narrative approach, narrative genre, religious language

Last updated on 2019-19-11 at 05:13