- Religious Construction of Coherence in Life Narratives
- Narrative Matters 2014: Narrative Knowing/Récit et Savoir (June 23-27, 2014)
- Book/source title
- Proceedings of the 7th Narrative Matters Conference: Narrative Knowing/Récit et Savoir (June 23-27, 2014)
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH)
During the last decade the concepts of meaning and meaning-making have received widespread attention in psychology of religion rekindling interest in narrative, especially in life narratives and in the sense-making processes talking place by constructing coherence in life narratives. Habermas and Bluck (2000) coined the term autobiographical reasoning to denote a process of self-reflecting thinking that implies the life story as relevant frame of reference and produces coherence (e.g. thematic and causal-motivational coherence) in life narratives. This paper investigates how communication about religion in life narratives can enhance the construction of coherence in life narratives. First, religions may be understood as global belief systems that enable people to derive meaning from them in constructing a coherent life story. Second, especially relating religious or spiritual conversion implies enhanced autobiographical reasoning in order to position one's own life story in the context of one or more global belief systems and to articulate the change adequately. This autobiographical reasoning implies the construction of multiple coherences ( in particular thematic and causal-motivational coherence), sometimes accompanied by a meta-communication about the coherent composition of the "fabula" about the "sjuzet".
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