SPEAKING IN TONGUES AS EMIGRATION: A SOCIAL-PSYCHOLOGICAL UNDERSTANDING OF TONGUE SPEAKING USING MIGRATION THEORY

Zoro Dube

Abstract


In this article, I explore the social function of speaking in tongues using migration
theory. My point of departure is that language delimits a community and defines its
collective identity. The notion of speaking in tongues is a unique activity in that it is
a language done in churches and it is associated with the spiritual world. If the
church congregants share a vernacular language outside the church, how do we
fathom a phenomenon whereby they speak in a different language when in church?
Does not this phenomenon presuppose an inception of a new identity and new space
for collective expression? Can we say they are the same people – if not, what has
changed? In this article I have developed a hypothesis that speaking in tongues, is at
the core of how the church claims an alternative identity different from the larger
society. We can describe the mentality as: “we are a heavenly community and we do
not belong here on earth.” The assumed change of space and identity can be well
developed by applying migration theory.

Keywords


Migration; Tongues; Identity; Space; Place

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/110-0-114

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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