Petrova A.A., Schmitt R., Stulberg O.E. Participative Rituality: Multimodal Research on Religious Communication in the Church Interior

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2018.3.23

Anna A. Petrova

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor of Department of German and Roman Philology, Volgograd State University

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russia

Senior Researcher, Research Laboratory "Intellectual technologies of text management", Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University

Kremlevskaya St., 18, 420008 Kazan, Russia

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http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4322-1324

Reinhold Schmitt

Doctor of Sciences (Sociology), Member of the Department of Pragmatics, Institute of the German Language

R 5, 6-13, D-68161 Mannheim, Germany

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http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0981-8039

Oleg E. Stulberg

Provost of the Lutheran-Protestant Church of Sarepta

Izobilnaya St., 10, 400026 Volgograd, Russia

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Abstract. In this article, the execution of a ritual as a component of religious communication is analysed. The ritual, in which the church community remembers the deceased, is celebrated in the evangelic church of Sarepta (Volgograd) on the last Sunday of the church year, the so-called 'eternity Sunday'. The study of the ritual is based on two scientific approaches: ethnomethodology and multimodal interaction analysis. These approaches make it possible to analyse the social and cultural practices of church visitors in conjunction with the organisation of church service. Specifically, it becomes possible to: a) develop new scientific paradigms when analysing the actual use of the church interior, b) identify basic religious activities of communication in church, c) introduce new concepts into scientific use, d) present the ritual of remembrance in Sarepta as a complex, multimodally constituted religious event, e) focus the coordination of linguistic, physical and spatial activities of church visitors and clerics at different stages of church service and to understand their respective social content and communicative status. For analysing the video recordings of the church service, the concepts of 'architecture-for-interaction' and 'social topography' are used, making it possible to discover new aspects of spatial influence on communication. The concept of 'architecture-for-interaction' provides the framework for answering the question of how the church interior in Sarepta contributes to the organisation of the ritual. Forms of situational use of space and the cultural knowledge underlying this use are captured with the concept of 'social topography'. From a structural viewpoint, the analyzed ritual in Sarepta is based on organization and division of responsibilities, consists of phases of structural non-simultaneity, has a three-positional spatial basis, and is structurally open. Because of these characteristics, the execution of the ritual can be described as 'participatory rituality'. Participatory rituality allows for a religious socialization which lets the community members participate as active and legitimate participants in religious communication and autonomously contribute to the execution of the ritual.

Key words: religious communication, religious socialization, participative rituality, ritual, church community of Sarepta (Volgograd), multimodal interaction analysis, architecture-for-interaction, social topography.

Citation. Petrova A.A., Schmitt R., Stulberg O.E. Participative Rituality: Multimodal Research on Religious Communication in the Church Interior. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2, Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2018, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 210-222. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2018.3.23 

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Participative Rituality: Multimodal Research on Religious Communication in the Church Interior by Petrova A.A., Schmitt R., Stulberg O.E. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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