For We All Share in One Spirit
Charismatic Gifts as Liturgical Group Actions
Charismatic gifts are an understudied and divisive aspect of Christian worship. Yet, in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4, Paul links these phenomena with his famous metaphor for the unity of the church as the Body of Christ. This paper argues that one can better understand how the Holy Spirit unifies both the universal and local church by viewing charismatic gifts as liturgical group actions. After briefly introducing the category of charismatic gifts, I argue that charismatic gifts are a semi–scripted improvisational activity which immerse participants into the core Christian narrative of the universal and invisible church. I then argue that charismatic gifts are given to and enacted by communities, rather than individuals, and so are an example of group action actualising the corporate agency of the local church. When charismatic gifts are seen as liturgical group actions it becomes clear how the Spirit uses charismatic gifts to transform the gathered people of God into the unified Body of Christ.
Copyright (c) 2020 Joanna Leidenhag
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