Alcheringa, New Series, 1977, vol.4 no. 1   

Edition Year Editor Pages Download
Volume Four, Issue One New Series, 1978 Dennis Tedlock 144 PDF, 8.4 MB
    Editorial Assistant: Marc Alan Widershien
  Contributing Editors: David Antin, Kofi Awoonor, Ulli Beier,
  Alan F. Burns, Stanley Diamond, Charles Doria, Everett Fox,
  Dell Hymes, Robert Kelly, Harris Lenowitz, David P. McAllester,
  William Mullen, Simon Ortiz, Gary Snyder, Nathaniel Tarn,
  Jeff Titon

IMAGE 144 OF 144



Side 1, MP3, 7.4 MB  
Oratory in Three Languages, recorded by Dennis Tedlock and Barbara Tedlock (1965-1976)

Side 2, MP3, 8.2 MB  
Three Testimonies, recorded by Jeff Titon and Ken George (1977)


Jeff Titon and Ken George

[...] Like all sacred speech, including song, prayer, preaching, and teaching, the words of testimony have power to "bless" the Christian and to bring the sinner "under conviction" — that is, to make him feel guilty for his sins and condemned to hell. But if the word can convict, it also has the power to save, for the Bible is the word of God and Christ is the Word, the incarnate expression of the divine. Moreover, confession of sin and acceptance of Christ must proceed "by mouth" — in an audible voice, via the spoken word. When Reverend Sherfey repeats, "There's power in the word," he invokes one of the crucial metaphors (power) and the central symbol (the word) in evangelical fundamentalist Christianity, where word-centered activity — that is, sacred speech — occupies the preponderant position, whereas action-centered ritual, such as communion, is secondary. Pentecostals carry this position the farthest, in that speaking in tongues, the initial evidence of the infilling of the Holy Ghost and the audible evidence of salvation, is their rite de passage. In this connection it is worth noting that Bill Arnold, song-leader at Broadview Pentecostal Church in Bloomington, Indiana, told me: "The tongue is the most unruly member of the body. It's the last thing you surrender to God. When God's got your tongue, he's really got control of you."