On individual variations regarding belief

Abstract : The author argues, that anthropology often interprets religious beliefs as shared by the believers and assumes that believersstraightforwardly think that their beliefs are true. In her article "On individual variations regarding beliefs", she shows, however,that the relationsbetween believers and their beliefs are malleable. They varybetween different believersand even an individual believer'srelation to his beliefs might change from situation to situation. She makes her point with referencetotwo Moroccan city-dwellers who hold acommonbelief, namely,inthe existence of djnns. However,they ascribe different identities to the djinns and confrontation with ad ifferent perspective on djinns strengthens their belief in the truth of their own perspective. Moreover,the validity of beliefs that are firmly embedded in their actions as tacit knowledge becomes suspended when the beliefs become atheme of discourse. Furthermore, believers can differ in how much they doubt abelief. Next the authorargues that, an actor'semotions in aspecific situation can strengthen his belief. Finally,beliefs can become emble-matic for one's cherished way of life and this can make the actor hold on to abelief. The author thus concludes that ashared belief does not imply that the relation towards the belief is also shared. Individuals , as she shows, rather have arelation to their beliefs that is specific to them and specific to their present circumstances.
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Isabelle Jabiot. On individual variations regarding belief. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, Dietrich Reimer Verlag GmbH, 2015, pp.55-74. ⟨hal-02120253⟩

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