Plural Identities: Neophytes Male and Female

Marina Caffiero

in Forced Baptism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780520254510
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950283 | DOI:
Plural Identities: Neophytes Male and Female

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Religious adaptation has been recently analyzed from an anthropological and semiological perspective that sees in it a process of destabilization of the religious “I.” “I” is a phase in which internal and external psychological and social crisis is followed by a phase of restabilization capable of giving form to a new religious “I” and another personal identity. The restabilization phase is recognized in ritual terms by the sacrament of baptism, which uses ritual solemnity and pomp to seal symbolic and material integration into the new community, thus fashioning a new identity, both social and personal. The fact that frequent exchanges and relations continued to exist between the neophytes and their former community testifies—as do cases of retraction, flight, and apostasy—to various levels of contamination and hybridization.

Keywords: destabilization; restabilization; solemnity; hybridization; neophytes

Chapter.  10926 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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