Imagining Religion in the Czech Republic

SMITH , J. Z. (1982): Imagining Religion. From Babylon to Jonestown. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. SMITH , J. Z. (1998): Religion, Religions, Religious. In: Taylor, M. C. (ed.): Critical Terms for Religious Studies.

Imagining Religion in the Czech Republic

How do we think about ourselves and others? Part one of the book examines the notion of human universals in cultural anthropology, psychology, linguistics, and in cognitive sciences. This part is focused on the issue of examining the processes of conceptualization, categorization and classification of human types and identities and it examines the role of psychological essentialism in these processes. It also focuses on the topic of religiously interpreted identities. Part two examines religiosity in modern Czech society. Contemporary Czech religiosity or lack thereof has been interpreted narrowly from the perspective of socially and culturally conceptualized factors. Other possible factors have been neglected – for example neuropsychological aspects. The World Religions Paradigm that underpins teaching about religions in Czech education system, is composed of reified concepts of religious traditions. This paradigm provides a basis for essentialised conceptualization of religiously interpreted identities in contemporary Czech society.

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