286.2 Lovely enchantments and romantic rituals – Romantic love and religion

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 12:45 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Swen SEEBACH , Humanities, PhD Candidate/ UOC, Barcelona, Spain
Francesc N┌ĐEZ MOSTEO , Humanities, Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
Throughout the 18th and 19th century, in the first phase of capitalism accompanied by social developments related with processes of rationalization of our social world we have been facing the social devaluation of religions and religiosity in the Western world, a slow process of disenchantment of our individual and social life with crucial consequences for our inner (well-) being and for the moral universes as the basis for our interactions with others. From our point of view this is just half the story: Forms and elements of our religious life continued and continue to play a crucial role in modern capitalism outside of what we understand as the religious field.

Following the ideas of Collin Campbell (1987) and Eva Illouz (1997) we have analyzed romantic love relationships as one of those dimensions wherein religious-like practices and forms of enchantment continue to play a crucial role and wherein the modern subject finds sense and meaning for his individual and social life, outside the iron cage.

It is by celebrating romantic consumption rituals (like going to the cinema, in a restaurant or going on a honeymoon trip) that we live our sacred moments wherein we web our life to the life of our partner. It is through the creation of personal love myths that we transform our passed everyday life or the moment we met with the beloved other into something special, something sacred that we could not have or could not have had with any other person. It is through the distinction between normal and special, between profane and sacred moments that we web our life to the life of our partners.  

We have tried to explore this topic empirically. Therefore, we have interviewed 45 people and have analyzed their autobiographical interviews.