In this chapter I want to address the relationship between statements of the following two types: “The omnipotence of God is a basic doctrine of Christianity,” and, “As a Christian, John holds the doctrine of the omnipotence of God to be true.” To put it more abstractly, I want to address the relationship between religious doctrines as they are found in the collective representations of a social group, on the one hand, and in the mental representations of the religious actors, on the other. Divested of jargon, I want to ask why it is that religious actors believe in the doctrines that comprise the religious system of their culture. If this question seems trivial, or if the answer seems obvious, it is only because we have for too long—certainly since Durkheim—accepted the coercive power of cultural symbols on the human mind to be a self-evident truth.