Religious realities in the making: Apparitions and possessions as practical and collective accomplishments GAČR 403/08/1758

GAČR 403/08/1758
In this qualitative sociological research we will study how (mainly catholic) pastoral practice treats spiritual experiences of apparition or demonic possession. E.g., how it happens - by practical means of religious life and devoutness - that a vision is accepted as a kind of apparition? Or, quite often, that it is suppressed, privatized and turned into a psychical effect such as delusion? What qualities of such a spiritual experience are regarded as relevant? What rules, norms and imaginaries are mobilized at such occasions? How are these experiences made accountable and collectively shareable? How they are disputed, evaluated, and doubted? Or, eventually, affirmed and appreciated as religious realities? In fact, we intend to carry out an in-depth study of phenomena that are so unbelievable that their acceptance is always (more or less) in risk of being classified in terms of psychopahtology or mental illness, but that are (precisely as unbelievable, super-natural and unexplainable by scientific means) key and carefully defined elements of widely accpeted religious belief.