Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276408097804
Title: Religious speech: The ineffable nature of religious communication in the information age
Authors: Turner, B.S. 
Keywords: Authority
Communication
Deathworks
Ineffability
Media of exchange
Spirituality
Issue Date: Dec-2008
Citation: Turner, B.S. (2008-12). Religious speech: The ineffable nature of religious communication in the information age. Theory, Culture and Society 25 (7-8) : 219-235. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276408097804
Abstract: In recent years, sociologists have been much concerned with the nature of communication and its consequences, but little attention, even in the sociology of religion, has been given to the idea of communication between human society and other worlds. Divine communication is sociologically interesting as a communication puzzle: authentic religious communication tends to be ineffable and hence it requires considerable intellectual work by experts to translate it into the effable domain. The ineffability of religious inspiration is associated with hierarchical structures in societies with high illiteracy, because the untutored laity cannot readily interpret such messages expertly. The arrival of an information society and extensive literacy presupposes some degree of democratization and in particular an emphasis on ĝ€" to conjure up a word strangely missing from modern English ĝ€" effability. This transition from the hierarchical/ineffable to the horizontal/ effable implies a profound change in systems of authority in society and hence a transformation of the relationships between formal and popular religion.
Source Title: Theory, Culture and Society
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/110979
ISSN: 02632764
DOI: 10.1177/0263276408097804
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