Language and Self-Transformation: A Study of the Christian by Peter G. Stromberg

By Peter G. Stromberg

It is a examine of the way self-transformation could ensue throughout the perform of reframing one's own adventure when it comes to a canonical language: that's, a method of symbols that purports to give an explanation for whatever approximately humans and the universe they reside in. The Christian conversion narrative is used because the basic instance right here, however the method utilized in this booklet additionally illuminates different practices similar to psychotherapy within which humans take care of emotional clash via language.

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Extra resources for Language and Self-Transformation: A Study of the Christian Conversion Narrative (Publications of the Society for Psychological Anthropology)

Sample text

Thus, in the examples of the gesture and the purchase of the automobile, I might deny my ironic gesture on questioning or insist that I purchased the automobile not because I wanted to display my wealth but because its high quality in fact made it a thrifty investment. " The producer of the behaviors may deny that these actions are communications at all. Such communications are deniable because of the way the subject is thought to be involved in communication in the referential ideology. Although I will have a great deal more to say on this below, the referential ideology posits a "core self" that expresses its beliefs, feelings, observations, needs, etc.

Specifically, there are reflective behaviors for which one may not be held responsible, and which therefore may be construed as unintentional. Likewise, there are unreflective behaviors for which one may accept responsibility and which therefore may be construed as intentional. An example of the former situation is the behavior of those who can reflect, but perhaps cannot reflect competently. English speakers are uncertain whether to attribute moral responsibility to persons who may have a compromised capacity for reflection, as is evidenced by the existence of the insanity defense.

The result of this is that a previously referential term may come to have a special significance for the believer, probably manifesting itself on an inarticulate level as a feeling. This profound feeling of significance is likely to strengthen the believer's commitment to the canonical language. A conversion narrative, then, is a ritual that integrates unacknowledged purposes into a socially construable project - namely, being an Evangelical Christian - and thus makes those purposes understandable.

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