Is Conventional Sociology of Religion Able to Deal with Differences between Eastern and Western European Developments?

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  • Author(s): Tomka, Miklós
  • Source:
    Social Compass. Jun2006, Vol. 53 Issue 2, p251-265. 15p. 3 Graphs.
  • Additional Information
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    • Abstract:
      Important religious phenomena in Eastern Europe challenge the sociology of religion. There are signs of a religious revival and an extended atheism. Yet observers have come to opposing conclusions. These contradicting interpretations call for conceptual and terminological clarifications. The author suggests that key notions in the sociology of religion such as religion itself, faith, religious practice, communal belonging and others have basically different meanings and implications under different socio-cultural circumstances. Accordingly, one needs different indicators and research methodology for them. Focusing on the traditional versus post-traditional dimension, as well as on the supposed differences between religious cultures in Eastern and Western Christianity, the author seeks to isolate structural ideal-types to identify specific kinds of religious settings and to elaborate the contextual and socio-cultural elements of different types of religion. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
      D'importants phénomènes religeux d'Europe centrale défient la sociologie des religions. Il y a des signes de revivalisme religieux en même temps qu'une extension de l'athéisme. Jusqu'ici les observateurs ont abouti à des conclusions opposées. Ces interpretations contradictoires appellent des clarifications conceptuelles et terminologiques. L'auteur suggère que les notions-clés de la sociologie des religions telles que la religion elle-même, la foi, la pratique religieuse, l'appartenance communautaire et d'autres encore ont à la base des significations et des implications particulières à chaque contexte socioculturel. Par conséquent, il est nécessaire d'utiliser des méthodes de recherches et des indicateurs adaptés et chacun. En se centrant sur l'opposition qui existe entre les dimensions traditionnelle et post-traditionnelle, ainsi que sur les supposées differences entre les cultures religieuses du christianisme occidental et oriental, l'auteur cherche isoler des idéaux-types structurels afin de pouvoir identifier les différents types de configurations religieuses et d'en préciser les aspects contextuels et socio-culturels. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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