The Labor of Faith: Gender and Power in Black Apostolic Pentecostalism
Judith Casselberry is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Bowdoin College. A vocalist and guitarist, Casselberry was a member of the award-winning reggae duo Casselberry-DuPreé and currently performs internationally with Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely.
The Beauty of Holiness
This chapter reveals how women perform aesthetic labor in material and immaterial realms to (re-)produce and (re-)interpret the meanings of living a holy life. Regulations on dress demonstrate the standard of respectable appearance. Examining the aesthetics of presentation, we gain insight into the particular ways in which saints understand that a woman, by her appearance, is an “ambassador for Christ” and the institution. At the same time, she is also a conduit for access to sacred realms by performing aesthetic labor in unrestrained liturgical practices—music making and worship—rendering the invisible (spirit) visible (embodied) to model the beauty and power of...