by Ashon Crawley
from Modern Believing Vol 60:1 - Jan 2019


This article takes up the figure of the black choir director as a way of exploring what I call the “otherwise possibilities” and practices of “blackqueer” sociality that are manifest in “blackpentecostalism.” Extending Hortense Spillers’ conception of “vestibularity,” the choir director is examined here as an instance of vestibularity – a vessel in and through which the congregation is invited to have joy that is not oriented toward an end or aspiration. Rather, the queerness of this performances lies in its fleshiness – a testament to the joy of the flesh that exceeds Western theological and philosophical conceptions of practice and belief. As an a/theological and a/philosophical interrogation, then, this essay considers the uselessness of the choir director as a lesson in the imagination of otherwise possibilities that emerge amidst the blackqueer spaces and times which open in and through the choreosonic vibrations of the flesh.

Key Words

black religion, blackness, blackpentecostal, blackqueer, gender, sexuality

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