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Nøgleord:Narrative, collective identity, social performance, collective memory and trauma, conflict, Denmark 1864
Collective self-understanding, in which the making of history
and narratives is crucial, is not unproblematic. A shared history
and myths belonging to a certain group and a historical territory, are
vital ingredients in the construction and forging of narratives and collective
identity. This paper aims to trail the interplay between social
performance and the construction of narratives in times of crisis. The
combination of memory, performance, and crisis is exemplifi ed through
a sermon held by Ludvig Helveg in Odense on Palm Sunday 1864 at the
time of the 2nd War of Schleswig-Holstein. As the French psychiatrist
Pierre Janet has said: “Memory is an action, essentially, it is the action
of telling and staging a story”. The staging of social performances serves
to secure and strengthen a collective consciousness in the interplay between
the interpretation of the past, understanding of the present, and
expectations of the future.