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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


PAIVA, Geraldo José de. The imaginary, the symbolic and religious syncretism: some psychological aspects of affiliation to new japanese religions. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 1999, vol.12, n.2, pp.521-535. ISSN 0102-7972.

With the help of Lacan’s categories of imaginary and symbolic the discourses of nine people, male and female Brazilians of Catholic origin, with no Oriental descent, affiliated to Japanese new religions, were analyzed, in order to ascertain, from a psychological point of view, whether affiliation to a new religion implies conversion or religious syncretism. The analysis allowed to identify distinct individual trends: some of the affiliates appear to operate a substitution of the symbolic and, accordingly, a religious conversion; other seem to maintain the original symbolic, adding imaginably some elements from the new religion to it, which results in a religious syncretism; some of those who convert bring imaginably some elements of their previous faith into the new symbolic system, producing a new religious syncretism.

Keywords : Conversion; imaginary; Psychology of religion; symbolic; syncretism.

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