This chapter examines the notion of “religious communication.” Religious communication is special in its insistence on its vertical dimension, which at the same time allows for very specific and often highly visible horizontal, interhuman communication. Indeed, it is a communication that refers to or directly addresses agents who are frequently, but not inevitably, personalized and who are not within the circle of those who are unquestionably present or relevant to a given situation. These were superhuman agents, or perhaps formerly alive but now dead human agents. The human actor who introduced such agents and chose this mode of action, enlarged her or his own agency, either by forging an alliance with the divine or by reducing the agency of other human actors as a result of the superior capacities of the gods in determining a course of events.
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