Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Anthropology

Advisor

JoAnn D'Alisera

Committee Member

Kirsten Erickson

Second Committee Member

Linda Coon

Keywords

Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Clothing; Dress; Holiness; Holy spirit; Pentecostalism; Spirituality

Abstract

Hair buns, high necklines, long sleeves, ankle length skirts, and simple yet practical work style shoes have exemplified Pentecostal women's dress throughout the history of the movement. Their bodies fervently protected from impropriety and immorality, through prescribed attire, are the sites upon which the church inscribes its vision of the modest Pentecostal woman. How dress is used within the community to `set apart' those assembly members whom have achieved the appropriate holiness lifestyle not only makes them upstanding members of the church assembly but also defines them as `saints' (sanctified ones, holy assembly members) and helps to develop their relationship with God. In this paper I hope to elucidate on the use of female pious dress within the Pentecostal church assembly. I want to explore how appropriate pious dress might bring an assembly member closer to God and even illicit the gifts of the Holy Spirit within these assembly members. I also explore the scriptural reference to pious dress and the basis for its inclusion within the Pentecostal assembly, to get at its roots in hopes of understanding what defines this particular style of dress as `holy' pious dress and can this type of dress be molded as future styles infiltrate the system.

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