Guide A Systems Theory of Religion (Cultural Memory in the Present)

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Media and cultural memory ; 8 Medien und kultu- relle Erinnerung ; 8 Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN alk. Culture Handbooks, manuals, etc. Memory Cross-cul- tural studies Handbooks, manuals, etc. Erll, Astrid. C KG, D BerlinAll rights reserved, including those of translation into foreign languages. No part of thisbook may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or me-chanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

In thecourse of the last two decades this area of research has witnessed a verita-ble boom in various countries and disciplines. As a consequence, the studyof the relations between culture and memory has diversified into a broadrange of approaches. Today, the complex issue of cultural memory is re-markably interdisciplinary: Concepts of cultural memory circulate in his-tory, the social and political sciences, philosophy and theology, psychol-ogy, the neurosciences, and psychoanalysis, as well as in literary and mediastudies. Sometimes these concepts converge; at other times they seem toexclude one another; and all too often, researchers in one discipline seemto take no notice of the work done in neighboring disciplines.

Moreover, cultural memory studies is a decidedly international field:Important concepts have been generated in France, Germany, Great Brit-ain, Italy, Canada, the United States, and the Netherlands. At the sametime, however, we have seen how nationally specific academic traditionsand language barriers have tended to impede the transfer of knowledgeabout cultural memory.

The handbook project proceeds from the assumption that, more oftenthan not, the meaning and operational value of concepts of memory ingeneral and cultural memory in particular differ between diverse disci-plines, disparate academic cultures, and different historical periods. Withthe move towards greater interdisciplinarity, the exchange of such con-cepts has considerably intensified. Through constant appropriation,translation, and reassessment across various fields, concepts of culturalmemory have acquired new meanings, opening up new horizons of re-search in the humanities as well as in the social and in the natural sciences.

SAGE Reference - Collective Memory

To the extent that their meaning must, therefore, be constantly renegoti-ated, a sustained enquiry into these concepts and a survey of the latestresearch in cultural memory studies can foster a self-reflexive approach tothis burgeoning and increasingly diverse field, providing a theoretical,conceptual, and methodological backbone for any project concerned withquestions of cultural memory.

The aim of this handbook is to offer the first truly integrated surveyof this interdisciplinary and international field of cultural memory studies. The concise presentation of the main concepts of cultural memory studiesis intended not only to offer readers a unique overview of current researchin the field; it is also meant to serve as a forum for bringing together ap- 6.

VIproaches from areas as varied as neurosciences and literary history, thusadding further contour and depth to this emergent field of study.

The Role of International Tribunals in the Development of Historical Narratives

Ourthanks go, first of all, to the many individual authors who contributed toour handbook. It was a wonderful experience to collaborate on this proj-ect with researchers from numerous countries and disciplines. We aregrateful for their willingness to present their research in the admittedlyvery concise format of this handbook and also for their great patienceduring the production process. Moreover, we would like to thank HeikoHartmann and his colleagues at de Gruyter for their encouragement andassistance in establishing the series Media and Cultural Memory. Four yearsafter the appearance of its first volume, this handbook represents the at-tempt to chart the very field——international and interdisciplinary memorystudies——that this series is committed to exploring and further developing.

Young for providing all the translations fromGerman.

A Systems Theory of Religion (Cultural Memory in the Present)

To Sara go our most cordial thanks: Without her, this volumewould not exist. She did an absolutely excellent job, from the criticalreading and careful editing of the articles to her well-crafted translationsand skilled guidance in the overall language and style of the volume. Towards a Conceptual Foundation for Cultural Memory StudiesOver the past two decades, the relationship between culture and memoryhas emerged in many parts of the world as a key issue of interdisciplinaryresearch, involving fields as diverse as history, sociology, art, literary andmedia studies, philosophy, theology, psychology, and the neurosciences,and thus bringing together the humanities, social studies, and the naturalsciences in a unique way.

The importance of the notion of cultural mem-ory is not only documented by the rapid growth, since the late s, ofpublications on specific national, social, religious, or family memories, butalso by a more recent trend, namely attempts to provide overviews of thestate of the art in this emerging field and to synthesize different researchtraditions. Olick; Radstone; Erll.

Systems Theory Basics

The presenthandbook represents the shared effort of forty-one authors, all of whomhave contributed over the past years, from a variety of disciplinary per-spectives, to the development of this nascent field, and it is part of theeffort to consolidate memory studies into a more coherent discipline. It isa first step on the road towards a conceptual foundation for the kind ofmemory studies which assumes a decidedly cultural and social perspective.

Media, practices, and structures as diverse as myth, monuments, historiog-raphy, ritual, conversational remembering, configurations of culturalknowledge, and neuronal networks are nowadays subsumed under thiswide umbrella term. Gediand Elam. Thefield thus remains open for the exploration of unintentional and implicitways of cultural remembering see Welzer, this volume or of inherentlynon-narrative, for example visual or bodily, forms of memory.

But if the range of themes and objects of memory studies is virtuallylimitless everything is, somehow, related to memory , then what makesour new field distinct? With Alon Confino, I would argue that it is not theinfinite multitude of possible topics which characterizes cultural memorystudies, but instead its concepts: the specific ways of conceiving of themesand of approaching objects.

What we needis to take a survey of the concepts used in memory studies and, in doingso, cross intellectual and linguistic boundaries. The list could go on. What this wealth of existing concepts shows, first of all, is that culturalmemory is not the object of one single discipline, but a transdisciplinaryphenomenon.

There is no such thing as a privileged standpoint or ap-proach for memory research for the systematic and historic reasons forthis, see sections 2 and 3 of this article. Cultural memory studies is a fieldto which many disciplines contribute, using their specific methodologiesand perspectives.

Società italiana per lo studio della storia contemporanea

This makes for its terminological richness, but also forits disjointedness. At the same time, it has been clear since its very incep-tion that the study of cultural memory can only be successful if it is basedon cooperation among different disciplines. Cultural memory studies istherefore not merely a multidisciplinary field, but fundamentally an inter-disciplinary project. Many exciting forms of collaboration have alreadybeen fostered. And indeed, the strongest and most striking studies in cul-tural memory are based on interdisciplinary exchange——between mediastudies and cultural history J.

Assmann; A. Assmann , history and sociol-ogy Olick , neuroscience and social psychology Welzer; Markowitsch ,cognitive psychology and history Manier and Hirst or social psychologyand linguistics Echterhoff; all this volume. An even more intensifieddialogue among disciplines will help uncover the manifold intersections ofmemory and culture. This, however, requires a very sensitive handling ofterminology and a careful discrimination of the specific disciplinary usesof certain concepts and of their literal, metaphorical, or metonymical im-plications see section 2.

Establishing the Framework: Dimensions, Levels, and Modes of Cultural MemoryIf we want to establish a framework for cultural memory studies, workingon concepts is inevitable. In the following I will propose some basic defi-nitions and conceptual differentiations which may help to prevent misun-derstanding and resolve some of the controversies which have beensparked time and again within and about cultural memory studies.