Two Concepts and One Memory. An Attempt to Reconsider Religion and Culture in the Light of Memory
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Already in 1964 Wilfred Cantwell Smith wrote that: “the term ‘religion’ is confusing, unnecessary, and distorting”. Since then many new definitions for ‘religion’ were elaborated. In 2012 Jared Diamond not only reminded sixteen of them, but also proposed two new definitions. The multiplicity of defini-tions for ‘culture’ is well known. In the recent anthropological reflection the basic concepts of Western civilization underwent a dramatically transfor-mations. This is true also for religion and culture and found a specific culmi-nation in the theory elaborated by Clifford Geertz, who saw religion as a cul-tural system. The aim of this paper is to reconsider these two concepts in the light of the notion of memory. The contribution by Maurice Halbwachs who indicated a close link between religion and memory has to be included and also more recent analysis by Jan and Aleida Assmann, particularly their em-phasis on cultural memory.
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