Male Confessions: Intimate Revelations and the Religious Imagination

By Björn Krondorfer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
The Confines of Male Confessions
On Ancient Vainglory and the Postmodern Gaze

When men confess, they have already lived a life that they are now willing to abandon and whose changes they are willing to share with a public. To a certain degree, confessants, whether religious or agnostic, have already detached themselves from a lived past. Confessions are a pouring out of personal memories and thoughts and may originate in a state of being confounded, of being disturbed by the way we have arranged ourselves with our lives. Etymologically, the term confusion derives from the Latin cum (together) and fundere (to pour), and carries the meaning of “pouring out together,” “mingling,” of being “overwhelmed” and “perplexed.” In order to manage our confusion, we confess.

Confusion may compel us to confess, but confessing is not the same as confusing. The act of confessing (or, if it occurs over a prolonged time, the process of confessing) is a recollecting of memories that emerge from within us, although as confessants we assume a position that appears to be outside and beyond the immediate moment. Confessions impose a new order onto experienced chaos. A confession is an interpretation of the past, a re envisioning of our lives, a reinvention of ourselves.

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