Strange Warmings and other Close (Althusserian) Encounters: John Wesley’s Change of Heart at Aldersgate

Matthew Newcomb

Abstract


John Wesley’s famous account of his heart being “strangely warmed” is often considered a conversion. However, his change is less about identity as a Christian, and is more about manner of being. Wesley’s change is best understood as an affective encounter. It is affective in being about bodily experience and initially pre-rational. However, that affective moment was possible due to previous encounters and intentional designs that prepared the possibilities for affective experiences. It is an encounter, following Louis Althusser’s theorization of the term, as a moment of change that might not have happened. Chance is taken seriously with the encounter, and combined with intentional design. Wesley might not have interacted with the Moravian sect in ways that set him up for his affective experience; rhetorical studies can use the encounter and affect to consider probability and chance more, and to think about rhetoric as the design of possible encounters.


Keywords


encounter; rhetoric; design; religion; wesley

Full Text:

PDF

References


Althusser, Louis. 2006. Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978-1987. Edited by François Matheron and Oliver Corpet. Translated by G. M. Goshgarian. New York: Verso.

Anderson, Dana. 2007. Identity’s Strategy: Rhetorical Selves in Conversation. Columbia, SC: U of South Carolina P.

Bargu, Banu. 2012. “In the Theater of Politics: Althusser’s Aleatory Materialism and Aesthetics.” Diacritics 40 (3): 86-113.

Burnett, Daniel L. 2006. In the Shadow of Aldersgate: An Introduction to the Heritage and Faith of the Wesleyan Tradition. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock.

Coole, Diane and Samantha Frost, Editors. 2010. New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics. Durham, NC: Duke UP.

Cooper, Marilyn M. 2011. “Rhetorical Agency as Emergent and Enacted.” College Composition and Communication 62 (3): 420-49.

Dobrin, Sidney, and Kyle Jensen, Editors. 2017. Abducting Writing Studies. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois UP, 2017.

Edbauer, Jennifer. 2005. “(Meta)Physical Graffiti: ‘Getting Up’ as Affective Writing Model.” JAC 25 (1): 131-59.

Green, Roger J. 1990. “1738 John & Charles Wesley Experience Conversions.” Christian History 28. http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-28/1738-john-charles-wesley-experience-conversions.html

Gunn, Josh. 2011. “On Recording Performance or Speech, The Cry, and the Anxiety of the Fix.” Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 7 (3): 1-30.

Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. 2001. Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP.

Heidegger, Martin. 1962. Being and Time. New York: Harper & Row. “How Aldersgate Changed John Wesley.” United Methodist Church. Umc.org. Last modified April 20, 2016. http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/how-aldersgate-changed-john-wesley.

Kierkegaard, Soren. (1844) 1987. Philosophical Fragments; Johannes Climacus. 2nd edition. and Translated by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP.

Massumi, Brian. 2002. Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham, NC: Duke UP.

Peirce, Charles Sanders. (1892). “The Law of Mind,” The Monist 2 (4): 533-59.

Peters, John Durham. 1999. Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication. Chicago: U of Chicago P.

Podmore, Colin. 1998. The Moravian Church in England, 1728-1760. Oxford: Oxford UP.

Tomkins, Stephen. 2003. John Wesley: A Biography. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans.

Rickert, Thomas. 2013. Ambient Rhetoric: The Rhetorical Attunements of Being. Pittsburgh: U of

Pittsburgh P.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. 2003. Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Durham: Duke UP.

Wesley, John. 1988. The Works of John Wesley: Vol. 18, Edited by W. Reginald Ward and Richard P. Heitzenrater. Nashville: Abingdon Press.

Worsham, Lynn. 1998. “Going Postal: Pedagogic Violence and the Schooling of Emotion.” JAC

(2): 213-45.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/nh.2020.5.111-124
Data publikacji: 2020-09-04 12:41:35
Data złożenia artykułu: 2019-11-04 15:59:09


Statistics

Total abstract view - 133
Downloads (from 2020-06-17) - PDF - 0

Indicators



Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2020 Matthew Newcomb

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.