Conceptualizing Compassion in Communication for Communication

Emotional Experience in Islamic Sermons (Bengali waʿẓ maḥfils)

in Contributions to the History of Concepts
Author: Max Stille 1
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  • 1 University of Heidelberg stille@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de
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ABSTRACT

This article argues that conceptual change can be brought about and shaped by communication practice by approaching emotional experience in a particular strand of Islamic sermons from contemporary Bangladesh. It utilizes an extended rhetorical analysis, pertaining to the intertwining of concepts to be communicated, concepts of communication, and performance patterns of the sermons. It argues that by the juncture of narrative techniques of immediacy and momentarization with a bodily grounding of the voice, the listeners and preacher jointly reach the self-affection of the bodily and salvific emotions of (com)passion. From this perspective, the role of rhetorical practice is not limited to an ex post facto translation of conceptual change into practice; instead, the rhetorical goal of self-affection turns out to be an active factor in shaping concepts decisive for contemporary Islamic religiosity.

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