Náboženská konverzia ako kolektívne rozpomínanie

Title in English Religious Conversion as Collective Remembering


Year of publication 2013
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Sociální studia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web http://socstudia.fss.muni.cz/?q=content/n%C3%A1bo%C5%BEensk%C3%A1-konverzia-ako-kolekt%C3%ADvne-rozpom%C3%ADnanie
Field Philosophy and religion
Keywords conversion; affiliation process; autobiographical memory; experimental approach; collective memory; cognitive science of religion; costly signalling theory
Description Despite the long tradition of conversion research in the social sciences and humanities and the very fact that conversion models and theories are based on the memories and narratives of converts, autobiographical memory and its role in the process of affiliation has been ignored and converts’ accounts have been approached naively. Converts’ accounts have been perceived as simple and unbiased reports of a past affiliation process on which general model or theory can be built. However, based on ongoing fieldwork research on one Christian congregation, I argue that the conversion testimonies of its members are not mere reports about past processes; they are part of the performance of a particular group ritual. Thus, conversion memories are not idiosyncratic isolated units, but rather, as public performances, they are open to group influence and control. This relatively flexible autobiographical memory and its social function plays decisive role in the formation of emotional and social bonds among members, as well as the self-enhancement of each member. Cognitive and social psychological research on autobiographical memory applied to the affiliation process enables us to embrace new fruitful explanatory avenues of this traditional topic.
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