uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Det religiösa självet i praktik vid ett hinduiskt gudinnetempel: Ett kulturpsykologiskt angreppssätt för religionspsykologi
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Psychology of Religions.
2004 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Religious Self in Practice at a Hindu Goddess-Temple : A Cultural Psychological Approach for the Psychology of Religion (English)
Abstract [en]

The main objective of this dissertation is to contribute to the psychology of religion in two ways. First, it adds to theory development in the field, and second, it provides an original field study of Hindu everyday-religiosity. This dual-focused objective is met through the development of theory for a practice-oriented cultural psychology of religion, grounded in a study of a Hindu goddess-temple in Banaras (Varanasi), India.

The cultural psychological approach makes use of Bourdieu’s concept “habitus”. It is argued that employing this concept in theory development overcomes a dualism of culture and self, and provides an alternative to previous models in the psychology of religion that interpret religiosity in either intrapsychical or intersubjective terms. Further, it is argued that the concept can interpret culture-specific features in Hindu religiosity, such as an emphasis on practical activity and on a non-dualistic view of person and world.

A model of a “Religious Self in Practice” is outlined, which integrates features from theories of “self as narrative practice” and Bell’s concept “ritualization”. The religious self is seen as a construction of relational and practical processes, a product of individuals participating in cultural practices of religiosity, manifested in a specific local site. Specific persons master the pre-given conventions of religious self-construction in individual, creative ways.

The study argues that a temple is such a site in a Hindu context. Ethnography is used to study the cultural practices of the religious self at the site, and life story interview to study a sample of seven individual ways of mastering these practices. The study analyzes sacred status at the temple as being an interplay of individuals’ devotions and common practices of religiosity. This practical logic is also identified in the life stories of the devotees as narrative practice of the religious self in relation to the Goddess.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Religionspsykologi , 2004. , 299 p.
Keyword [en]
Psychology of religion, Psychology of religion, Cultural psychology, Religious self, Practice, Habitus, Ritualization, Self-narrative, Ethnography, Life story, Hindu religiosity, Temple-ritual, Goddess-cult
Keyword [hi]
Banaras, Mahishasurmardini Durga
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4695ISBN: 91-506-1784-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-4695DiVA: diva2:165527
Public defence
2004-12-17, Auditorium minus, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 14:15
Available from: 2004-11-25 Created: 2004-11-25Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

By organisation
Psychology of Religions
Religious Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 1328 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link