Research on religious identity should consider the content and consequences of individual’s future self-concepts, the dynamics through which possible identities (both desired and feared) are constructed and transmitted, as well as when, where, and why these imagined futures are brought to bear in deciding on lines of action in the present.
For one, future research can investigate the content of adherents’ future-self-concepts and the process through which they are transmitted, identifying similarities and differences within and between communities.
Doing so would reveal the situated and contextual nature of religious identities and aspirations, and expand our understanding of how religious communities shape individual identity, experience, and action in the present. Future work might also consider differences of various possible identities across communities.
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