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Religiøs omvendelse: Socialpsykologiske og neurovidenskabelige perspektiver

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Even though religious conversion has been thoroughly investigated in the disciplines of psychology and sociology, we argue that recent neuroscientific breakthroughs can throw new light on the subject. Our hypothesis is that conversion is a product of religious identity processes during which the convert's concept and feeling of self fundamentally changes. We do not claim that identity is a purely social construction because there are many complex aspects in the development of religious identity. Identity arises as a consequence of social and communicative interaction, role expectations, and language. But identity equally arises in intimate connection with a feeling of the self produced by the individual's inner somatic, emotional and neural processes. In line with recent neuroscientific research, we argue further that the human organism is driven by homeostatic behavior, that the feeling of a coherent self and identity are dependent on the hemispheric integration of the brain, and that both attachment experiences and coherent autonoetic narratives influence the development of a coherent, feeling self. As a consequence, our approach is a combination of social and neurological constructivism.
Translated title of the contributionReligious Conversion: Social Psychological and Neuroscientific Perspectives
Original languageDanish
Title of host publicationDansk konversionsforskning
EditorsMogens S. Mogensen, John H. M. Damsager
Number of pages29
Place of publicationÅrhus
PublisherForlaget Univers
Publication year2007
Pages43-71
ISBN (print)978-87-91668-13-5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Research areas

  • religion, conversion, social psychology, neuroscience, cognition, cognitive science of religion, mind, narrative

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