Glenn Hinson focuses on a single gospel program and offers a major contribution to our understanding not just of gospel but of the nature of religious experience.
A key feature of African American performance is the layering of performative voices and the constant shifting of performative focus. To capture this layering, Hinson demonstrates how all the parts of the gospel program work together to shape a single whole, joining speech and song, performer and audience, testimony, prayer, preaching, and singing into a seamless and multifaceted service of worship. Personal stories ground the discussion at every turn, while experiential testimony fuels the unfolding arguments. Fire in My Bones is an original exploration of experience and belief in a community of African American Christians, but it is also an exploration of African American aesthetics, the study of belief, and the ethnographic enterprise.
"Ethnography at its best. Highly recommended."—Choice
"A superb ethnographic study of African American 'sanctified' faith. . . . Ethnography at its best. Highly recommended."—Choice
"A must-read for anyone interested in religious discourse, Black gospel programs, or description and explanation of religious experience within any domain."—Language in Society