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Religious and ritual development in postmodern Sweden: The second naïvité in the lack of a first one
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2006 (English)In: International Association for the Psychology of Religion: Conference of 2006: Program and Book of Abstracts, 2006Conference paper (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

In this paper I will discuss and criticize the concept “second naïvité” from the perspective of the late modern Swedish society. My point of departure is the “existential epidemiology” that characterizes the Swedish context (DeMarinis, 2003; see also Bauman, 1993 and Giddens 1990). Late modern societies like Sweden face serious psychological health problems in relation to the existential dimension. The rapid intellectual development of the last centuries has led into a blind alley, when it comes to existential issues.

In relation to this, the concept second naïvité, first introduced by James Fowler, has become popular among contemporary psychologists of religion (Fowler, 1995). The concept suggests a possibility for an individual religiosity beyond reason, and thus beyond the late modern dilemma. Scholars like Streib and Wulff develop and apply the concept almost like a vision of mature and healthy religiosity (Streib, 2001; Wulff, 1997), whereas Dezutter, Soenens and Hutsebaut test it in relation to the empirical setting of Belgium (Dezutter; Soenens & Hutsebaut, 2005).

The concept represents a creative and challenging view of religiosity important for the scholarly discussion of late modern religiosity. However, in relation to the Swedish late modern context, the concept has important shortcomings. The concept builds on the idea of a common religious socialization. In Sweden, this is no longer the case. This makes the question of religious development in terms of a second naïvité a much more complicated issue than hitherto recognized. Revealing the weaknesses in relation to the Swedish late modern context I will suggest an alternative understanding of the concept. This will be based on Winnicott’s object relations theoretical concept of play, and its role for human health and creativity (Winnicott, 1971). The discussion will be illustrated by examples from an experimental ritual project within contemporary Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
second naïvité, Fowler, religious development, ritual context, Sweden, postmodern, ritual experiment
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-84354OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-84354DiVA: diva2:112262
Available from: 2006-11-15 Created: 2006-11-15

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