Friday, February 15, 2008


Today in the morning I wished to coin a new term: 'Historical Psychology'. Then I went to the Google and found a similar term present already: there is a journal of ‘Cultural-Historical Psychology’. And there is a book named The Theory and Practice of Cultural-Historical Psychology.
Afterwards I found even a longer term "Socio-cultural historical psychology". OK, it's correct. Still I prefer to talk on 'Historical Psychology' just because it sounds shorter.
Now what is my specific instance? The instance is Baptism and mikvah.
In Christianity, baptism is the sacramental act of cleansing in water that admits one as a full member of the Church.
In Judaism, Mikvah is a specific bath for the purpose of ritual immersion.
I know there is a difference. The mikvah is a rite that is meant to be carried out repeatedly, and is thus essentially different from baptism, which has an unrepeatable character.
Still I see much in common. All the issue of ritual immersion in water. This is a question to the Historical Psychology: how come various religions got the similar ritual?
I know what they may say: Christianity was born out of Judaism. Still I believe there are deeper reasons. Because you see some deep psychological idea in using water. There is a case for Historical psychology studies.

However, what all this has to do with the issue of PR? Knowing / seeing / understanding the roots of the human rituals. If you see common roots, then you can appeal to these roots (= appeal to the factor uniting different cultures), instead of appealing to the factor separating the cultures.


  1. Jacob,
    What about 'appeal to the factor uniting different cultures'? Do you have any example of specific using this principle? How do you use it in PR practice?

  2. Julie,
    You are right that we need to point to some instances of using this principle (= appealing to the common roots).
    Usually we have millions of words about different cultures, 'Cultural Approaches to Negotiation', 'Cross-Cultural Negotiations'. The usual approach is to see the differences.
    Now this principle is talking about the other way round: seeking for common roots.
    I don't have an example of using this principle right now. Still it needs to be found.