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Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Social Memory Theory

Conflict and Identity in Romans: The Social Setting of Paul's Letter,
Philip F. Esler, Fortress Press, 2003, page 24

Maurice Halbwach proposed social memory theory: that many of our memories are collective and are derived from the groups to which we belong. Eslerr observes that:

Collective remembering is certainly essential to the experience of a community.

A collective memory allows the group to self-correct and self-affirm by the strategy of needing agreement on "Do you remember when ..." It prevents scatter and loss of the past; it inhibits the addition of things that no-one remembers. Esler adds:

Efforts to control the past frequently take the form of a struggle for the possession and interpretation of collective memory. At stake in such struggles is often the identity and status of groups and communities.

Hence, perhaps, we can see a reason for four gospels, twelve minor prophets and five books of Torah.

Posted By Jonathan, 8:14am Comment Comments: 0