De betekenis van het verleden in het hedendaagse debat over jongensbesnijdenis: ‘Social imaginaries’ en het geval van Paulus | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 68, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268


This article explores perceptions of the past, and in particular of the apostle Paul, in recent newspaper articles that discuss male circumcision, using Charles Taylor’s category of the ‘social imaginary’. Applying Taylor’s category of the ‘imaginary’ to this contemporary debate shows that the past is constructed in several ways, sometimes in understanding history as progress, but also as a warning or a deciding factor in contemporary oppositions. Views of the past that mention Paul locate his relevance for contemporary attitudes in his presumed rejection of physical circumcision and emphasis on inner attitudes, but can draw very different conclusions from this for contemporary attitudes towards circumcision.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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