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Pastoral Verbal Performance and Visual Aesthetics

Brother Jero's Cape as Sign

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The words and actions of several men and women at the lecterns and pulpits of places of worship rely a lot on their physical appearance or visual aesthetic. Soyinka's Brother Jero in The Trials of Brother Jero has become an epitome of this dependence on 'looking good'. The appealing physical appearance and dress of many of these religious are held to be veritable means of proselytization and of enticing many to worship. This, in turn, has led to parsimony, philistinism, and mercenary traits in some of these people and places. The bane of religion in Nigeria today is not far from the above. This essay shall assess Brother Jero's purchase of the velvet material from Amope, why he did so, to what effect and prfit, as well as the repercussions of men and women of God depending on dressing well and displaying good looks. The cape is thus a sign, signifier, and signified of the profound influence of Nigerian visual culture on religion.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2011


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