versão impressa ISSN 0873-6561
SALAZAR, Carles. Prayer and symbolisation in an Irish Catholic community. Etnográfica [online]. 2008, vol.12, n.2, pp. 387-402. ISSN 0873-6561.
The purpose of this paper is to present an analysis of prayer in the everyday life of an Irish Catholic community. Prayers are mental acts that need to be actualised following detailed instructions. This is so because prayers have to be authentic, which means that there has to be a correspondence between the act of praying and the mental state of believing. Due to the fact that mental states are by definition invisible, the argument of this paper is that that correspondence can only be symbolised by the very special characteristics of the act of praying. By stressing the symbolic nature of the act of praying, an alternative to recent cognitive approaches to the analysis of ritualisation is also suggested.
Palavras-chave : prayer; ritual; symbolism; cognition; Catholicism; Ireland.