Pamäť a náboženská afiliácia: o čom nám hovoria spomienky konvertitu?

Title in English Memory and religious affiliation: What convert´s memories can tell us about religious conversion?
Authors

CIGÁN Jakub

Year of publication 2011
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Sacra
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Web On-line archiv časopisu
Field Philosophy and religion
Keywords conversion;religious affiliation;memory;collective memory;false memories;flashbulb memories;identity
Description The paper titled "Memory and religious affiliation: What convert's memories tell us about religious conversion?" points to retrospective nature of conversion research and common, but tricky practice in conversion studies to reconstruct objective process of religious conversion as happened in a past mainly on the basis of convert's accounts. I am arguing that this endeavour is doomed to failure especially considering that accuracy is not the strong point of our memory, but one of the many features competing with other more relevant ones. Moreover memory systems in humans have particular social and directive functions aimed to a future and these systems are tuned for life in a group. Simply put, memories about religious conversion, as well as other memories, are not about past, but about present and future aims, and comprise individual just as collective aspects. To move from solely retrospective way of research is necessary to study religious conversion (especially conversion story-telling practice) as a present social process of affiliation and maintaining one's identity through the acquiring of the particular appropriate life story within certain situations and contexts. Religious conversion might be taken as a particular schema (or schematic narrative template) that sets up criteria for choosing of relevant memories. Use of this schema might be one of the many means of social affiliation. Sharing of memories or schemas organizing and constructing them, especially very emotional ones, may support sense of collective and makes in-group social and emotional bonds stronger.
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