The tempos of change: limits of syncretism in a multi-religious Macedonian community
Paper short abstract:
The paper addresses the problem of various tempos marking the processes of cultural transformations. The argument is illustrated with the analysis of factors constraining syncretism in a multi-religious community in western part of the Republic of Macedonia.
Paper long abstract:
In recent decades anthropologists have focused their research on spectacular large scale and abrupt cultural changes resulting from processes of globalization and various techno-scientific innovations that mark conditions of late modernity. At the same time basic model of world which has informed many research practices in anthropology has treated reality as a process of ongoing, incessant changes and transforms. This way of thinking neglects important feature of the transformations processes, namely the fact that changes reveal different tempos. Drawing on the conceptions of social historians such as Fernand Braudel or Reinhart Koselleck we may attempt to construct more comprehensive analytics of change that take under scrutiny various tempos of social and cultural transformations. This analytics may allow us to formulate crucial questions addressing factors accounting for cultural transformation slowdowns and accelerations. Those questions may be raised in connection to the cultural transformations shaping various syncretic religious practices and believes. Using data from my own fieldwork in multi-religious communities living in western part of the Republic of Macedonia, I would like to examine plausible factors that constrain a degree of syncretism at the level communal religious rituals and individual repertoire of religious practices. My analysis challenges the view of modernity as one synergic process of rapid change, and puts emphasis on the existence of parallel - faster and slower - processes of change that shape late modern social life.
Obsession with change