Religious narratives and narration in the study of religion

The questions about religion’s relations to changes, in what we can call its external environment, society and culture, as well as to what we can call its internal environment, are not only interesting and fascinating in themselves, but also of great importance to our understanding of both religion and society. For, as we know very well, they both do change and sometimes new religions emerges, sometimes as part of religious changes and sometimes as part of societal changes, but most often as part of changes in both society and religion(s) – can we at all understand them separately?

In this panel we ask what is the role of narratives and narration in this regard? How do narratives “work”? How are they constructed and why are they constructed as they are? What are the relations between narratives and practices? We will look into such questions, and others, from different inter- and intra-disciplinary perspectives. Moreover, we ask what constitutes religious narratives, and whether or not this is substantially different from what constitutes academic narratives? Finally, we think that a substantial discussion about the role of narratives can help us better understand how religion adapt, change, transform and reform as part of societies and cultures.

Geir Aasmundsen: