Religious conversion and group dynamics



Year of publication 2012
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Religious conversion is a traditional topic in Religious studies. Most of the scholars who have studied conversion approach it as something from the past, that should be studied retrospectively, through conversion accounts – a set of autobiographical memories in the form of a narrative.I argue,on the other hand, that these constructed conversion memories are aimed at one s present and future prospects and interests, opened to collectively shared representations and general implicit theories, and are relevant only in particular situations and contexts. Religious conversion is a sort of narrative schema that works in a particular group and is ritually publicly displayed (e.g. in a conversion story-telling practice, witnessing etc.). This may be taken as an affiliation strategy (among others) to the group and a commitment signal to other members that one is willing to participate and cooperate.
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