Phenomenon of religious identity: philosophical and legal construction of the content

Victoriya Chornopyska. Phenomenon of religious identity: philosophical and legal construction of the content.

Lviv Polytechnic National University, Institute of Jurisprudence and Psychology

The article reveals the phenomenon of religious identity within the framework of the philosophical and legal discourse. The two most common approaches to understanding religious identity are defined: The first approach considers the definition of religious identity as a category of religious consciousness, the content of which is the understanding of the relationship with ideas and values, it actualizes the general religious self-characteristics of an individual, that is, an individual attitude to the sacred, which can be expressed in a personal the attitude of a person regarding the supernatural features of individual symbols. Therefore, this attitude can be actualized by the definition: "I am a believer"; the second approach considers religious identity as a form of belonging to a certain religion or a specific religious community, the individual's belonging to a religious organization is formed. Hence, religious identity defines a specific form of religiosity and is actualized as a confessional identity, which can be formulated in the definitions: "I am a Catholic Christian", "I am a Buddhist", "I am a Muslim", etc.

It was found that religious identity is a socio-psychological construct that outlines the unity of a religious organization, which is achieved by the intersubjective orientation of community members to a common idealized set of symbols that actualize the essence of ontological, axiological and ethical regulations of a religious organization and are reproduced thanks to common sacred practices . Identity, as an attribute, is an individual's belonging to a certain social integrity - a religious community. From the standpoint of constructivism, religious identity is one of the social constructs that emerges in the process of subjective reflection and active construction of religious reality by an individual on the basis of social categorization. Hence, the cultural unity of religion as such (religious direction, confessional group, cult) is not its primary characteristic, but the result and meaning of existence.

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