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Acting as Missionaries: The Religious Self in Intercultural Practice: An Approach from Action Theory and Cultural Psychology

Missionarisches Handeln: Das religiöse Selbst in interkultureller Praxis: Eine handlungstheoretische und kulturpsychologische Untersuchung

Straub, Jürgen; Arnold, Maik


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Abstract This paper focuses on how young Protestant believers thematize their own lives and themselves in the mode of story-telling. Particular attention is paid to the psychologically relevant functions of story-telling. Narrative biographies are used to explain and analyze the meanings of actions of persons who are involved in doing missionary work, following a tradition influenced by the symbolic action theory and cultural psychology. In addition, because “mission” can mean very different things, the concept and reality of mission in a culturally diverse world – liberated, pluralized, and open to very individualistic life-styles – is addressed in short, revealing an ambiguous picture of the existence and development of religions and worldviews. Subsequently, first rather tentative results of an empirical research project are presented. Some possible meanings of experiences and actions, practices and symbolic representations of those doing missionary work within intercultural contexts are presented and how important their experiences, hopes etc. are for their life stories and their selves. The paper ends with a discussion on the relationship between the activities in question and the concept of “intercultural competence”.
Thesaurusschlagwörter missionary; missionary work; cultural psychology; social research; action theory; self-image; identity; Protestant; narrative; intercultural factors; intercultural skills; intercultural communication; cultural difference
Klassifikation Kultursoziologie, Kunstsoziologie, Literatursoziologie; Philosophie, Theologie; Allgemeines, spezielle Theorien und Schulen, Methoden, Entwicklung und Geschichte der Psychologie
Titel Sammelwerk, Herausgeber- oder Konferenzband Autobiography and the psychological study of religious lives
Herausgeber Belzen, Jacob A.; Geels, Anton
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2009
Verlag Rodopi
Erscheinungsort Amsterdam
Seitenangabe S. 309-368
Schriftenreihe International Series in the Psychology of Religion, 15
ISBN 978-90-420-2568-4
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz Deposit Licence - Keine Weiterverbreitung, keine Bearbeitung