Screaming in Religion or Philosophy
March 16, 2016 10:11 AM   Subscribe

I'm reading about different manifestations of screaming. I'm familiar with Janov and the primal scream, and I'm familiar with speaking in tongues as well as keening. I would like to find examples in religion or philosophy of screaming, either as spiritual practice/theology or metaphor. Both "religion" and "philosophy" can be interpreted with some leeway.
posted by mermaidcafe to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
NIV Romans 8:25-27 (the Apostle Paul): But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Not sure exactly what Paul was talking about there, beyond what's in the text (and the surrounding context isn't all that much help), but seems to sorta fit.
posted by randomkeystrike at 10:34 AM on March 16, 2016

The Tao Te Ching has a bit about a screaming infant. Here's one translation:
All day long it will cry without its throat
becoming hoarse;--showing the harmony (in its constitution).
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:41 AM on March 16, 2016

way back when I was still a christian fundamentalist, roaring was a thing. Probably out of fashoin by now (this was 20 yrs ago). Key words to google are Kansas City prophets, Toronto blessing, Toronto Airport vineyard, latter rain, etc. People feeling god touch them in the meetings would roar, bark, scream, wail etc "in the spirit", at a very loud volume. There was a pastor from Hongkong (? i think) who roared "prophetically". There was also a whole theology to back it up but I literally finally just threw out all those books last week. But am certain google will have plenty.
posted by 15L06 at 12:00 PM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

I am interpreting "screaming" broadly here.

There is a Zen tradition of yelling upon attaining enlightenment and a related practice of yelling in Zen training. I don't have any good scholarly resources for you, but here is the wiki.

There is also the Kiai in martial arts.
posted by jamaal at 1:38 PM on March 16, 2016

Addition: It just occurred to me that the Māori Haka might be another example of interest.
posted by jamaal at 1:46 PM on March 16, 2016

You may be interested in the experimental artist Gregory Whitehead's piece Pressures of the Unspeakable in which he put together a fictive 'Institute for Screamscape Studies' and encouraged people to call up a phoneline to scream into a recorder. It was broadcast on Australia's ABC radio network in 1990 and won an award in 1992. He's got an entry about it on his site here, and the whole thing (40 minutes) is archived on Ubuweb here.

One reason you might be less interested is because I think Whitehead's interests in POS weren't really focussed primarily on screaming / 'scream therapy' / 'screamscape studies' – his made-up 'Institute' is, if anything, a kind of satirical device. He's a playful, puckish kind of artist, and I think the piece's achievements are mostly to do with thinking about new ways that art can exploit radio and recording technology ('radiophonic' art) while doing something that's also playful (sometimes in quite an oulipian way). But hey, I think you might enjoy listening to it all the same!
posted by Joeruckus at 2:22 PM on March 17, 2016

And it seems the Institute for Screamscape Studies continues: this site is about a conference/festival held in Switzerland last year, and extends Whitehead's Screambank (an archive of recordings of people who dial in their screams) – it's on Soundcloud here, 436 screams and counting...
posted by Joeruckus at 2:31 PM on March 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

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