Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Europe’

Negru, “How Private Is the Relation With God?”

December 3, 2013

Negru, Oana.  2013.  How Private Is the Relation With God? Religiosity and Family Religious Socialization in Romanian Emerging Adults.  Journal of Adolescent Research (Published Online 22 November 2013).  

Abstract: This qualitative study explores the dynamics of religious cognitions, behaviors, and emotions in emerging adult discourse in a sample of Romanian youth of heterogeneous socioeconomic, denominational (Orthodox Christian, Roman Catholic, Neo-protestant), and educational background. Also, from a parent-child dyad perspective, we investigate the role of family religious socialization when children have reached emerging adulthood. Findings bring forward personal conceptualizations of religiosity and specific strategies of religious exploration the youth employ. In addition, family religious socialization is portrayed through the lens of the autonomy-support parents provide their offspring from childhood to emerging adulthood. Emerging adults tend to integrate childhood family religious socialization into the context of their lifelong religious development and also report more present-day parental influence than their parents.

Mandes and Rogaczewska, “‘I don’t reject the Catholic Church—the Catholic Church rejects me'”

April 23, 2013

Mandes, Sławomir and Maria Rogaczewska.  2013.  “I don’t reject the Catholic Church—the Catholic Church rejects me”: How Twenty- and Thirty-somethings in Poland Re-evaluate their Religion.  Journal of Contemporary Religion 28(2): 259-276.

Abstract: Given measures of religious belief and participation, young adults in Poland are becoming increasingly disengaged from the Catholic Church. Broad theories of secularisation are less useful for making sense of this trend than an analysis of the role of Catholicism in Polish society in the twentieth century, which demonstrates the ways in which forms of belief are contingent upon wider social and political transformations. This article argues that, since 1989, attempts by the Catholic Church in Poland to influence public life through conservative social and political interventions have alienated young people who are looking for religious resources with which to make sense of their lives in a rapidly changing social milieu. Alongside disengagement from conservative, propositional forms of Catholic truth and rejection of direct authority, young people still possess ‘religious capital’ and look upon religious ideas to orientate their personal lives. However, disaffection from the propositional truths offered by the Church and disengagement from rituals and practices of ‘folk Catholicism’ at the level of the family and local parish have not led to widespread expressions of atheism among young people. Instead, there is a sacralisation of everyday life and there are attempts to use ‘religious capital’ to help young people make choices for life. The reconfigured ‘religious capital’ is often expressed through diffuse Catholic symbols and sentiment as well as the periodic use of major religious festivals as a means of finding access to some form of collective religious experience. The article concludes by reflecting on the implications of these changes for the future religious landscape of Polish society.

Brzozowski, “Spatiality and the Performance of Belief”

April 23, 2013

Brzozowski, Grzegorz.  2013.  Spatiality and the Performance of Belief: The Public Square and Collective Mourning for John Paul II.  Journal of Contemporary Religion 28(2): 241-257.

Abstract: The outburst of collective mourning for the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2005 in Piłsudski Square in Warsaw presented an exceptional case of intense religious emotions, expressed through an unprecedented variety of visual forms in a secular public space beyond the limitations of domestic and traditional worship spheres. Using displays of this emotion as a focus, this article considers how complementary theoretical frameworks can generate nuanced accounts of the dynamic intersection of such a space and the performance of belief in late modernity. Drawing on Danièle Hervieu-Léger’s concepts of strategies of religious spatialisation, Jeffrey Alexander’s theory of space as a mise-en-scene for cultural performance, and Erika Fischer-Lichte’s understanding of effects of space in shaping the nature of performance art, I argue that space must be understood as integral to such acts of believing. The meanings and uses of space should be understood as subject to the continuation or disruption of particular chains of memory, the operation of particular institutional strategies and resources, and the ways in which the material environment itself enables or precludes different forms of religious and cultural performance. Space as a condition of performance of belief thus binds together various levels of analysis: from the macro-level of institutional strategies to the micro-dynamics of individual behaviour. These levels of the theoretical framework will be followed along the analysis of stages in the material transformation of the Square. This perspective challenges privatised, propositional accounts of belief, further demonstrating that belief is inseparable from embodied emotion and action, the negotiation of various forms of institutional power, and the affordance of space and material objects.

Djuriæ-Milovanoviæ, “‘Smuggling Bibles’: Everyday Life Of Baptist Serbs In Communist Romania”

December 18, 2012

Djuriæ-Milovanoviæ, Aleksandra. (2012). “‘Smuggling Bibles’: Everyday Life Of Baptist Serbs In Communist Romania.” Religion in Eastern Europe 32(4):33-40.

Excerpt: “This paper seeks to present everyday life experiences of Baptist Serbs in Romania during the specific historical period of communism . . .  Special interest is paid to the connections between Serbs from Romania and Yugoslavia, various missionary activities, and religious experiences of the born-again Christians during communism “

Siekierski, “Catholics in the Holy Spirit”

April 12, 2012

Siekierski, Konrad. 2012.  Catholics in the Holy Spirit: the Charismatic Renewal in Poland. Religion, State, and Society 40(1):145-161.

Abstract: Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity is without doubt one of the most dynamic and culturally significant contemporary religious phenomena. Not only is it the fastest-growing religious movement worldwide, but it has also permeated into the largest Christian tradition, Roman Catholicism, becoming a hallmark of what is known as the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR). In this article I discuss various aspects of CCR within the Catholic Church in Poland. First I describe briefly the history, structures and activities of Polish CCR and discuss controversies that surround it. Then I give a short account of my research in which I have focused on the narratives of life change offered by CCR members, interpreting this change in terms of religious conversion. Finally, I touch upon the issue of the internal diversity of contemporary Polish Catholicism, and show CCR’s spirituality, based on immediate personal contact with the sacred, as a noteworthy element of this phenomenon.

Kuropatkina, “Pentecostals and the Russian ‘National Idea'”

April 12, 2012

Kuropatkina, Oksana. 2012. The “New” Pentecostals and the Russian “National Idea.” Religion, State, and Society 40(1):133-144.

Abstract: This article considers the role and place of ‘New’ Pentecostals (Neo-Pentecostals) in modern social, cultural and political processes in Russia and their attempts to contribute to creating a new ‘national idea’ for postsoviet Russian society. I look at the context of current debate on the latter subject: socialists call for a reproduction of the Soviet experience; others call for building an ‘Orthodox Russia’; others support a ‘conservative synthesis’ which looks back at previous experience of state-building with a multiconfessional and multiethnic character and involves building a religious and moral basis on Orthodoxy and other ‘traditional religions’; yet others support the liberal model and the integration of Russia into the western world. In this context I consider various aspects of Pentecostal participation: their current practical activities (charitable activity and support for democracy and human rights); the building of a theocratic (Christian) state; the study of the Russian religious heritage and an attempt to synthesise Orthodox and Protestant (Evangelical) traditions; and prayer for the country in the apocalyptic perspective.

Poplavsky, “Pentecostal Churches in Russia”

April 12, 2012

Poplavsky, Roman. 2012. Pentecostal Churches in Russia: changing self-images and enculturation in Tyumen. Religion, State, and Society 40(1):112-132.

Abstract: This article deals with the process of inculturation of Pentecostal communities in Russia. From the perspective of Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of a linguistic market I describe the current negative image of Protestants in Russia, which derives from Orthodox conceptions of ‘canonical territory’ and ‘non-traditional religions’, and I show how Pentecostal churches in Tyumen’ oblast’, in Western Siberia just beyond the Urals, are trying to influence the political and religious discourse through changing this image by words and in practice. I identify three strategies of inculturation by Pentecostals: inrooting, stressing their lack of dependence on foreign missions and reluctance to use denominational labels. I pay special attention to changes in the ways in which Russian Pentecostals do evangelisation and social work. I conclude that it is self-censorship that is helping Pentecostals move to a new language in their dialogue with Russian society and the authorities.

Lofstedt, “Religious Revival among Orthodox and Pentecostals in Russia”

April 12, 2012

Lofstedt, Torsten. 2012. Religious Revival among Orthodox and Pentecostals in Russia: causes and limitations. Religion, State, and Society 40(1):92-111.

Abstract: In Russia in the late 1980s and early 1990s churches and denominations of all kinds grew quickly. Among those that grew most quickly were the Pentecostals. My impression is that by the mid-1990s, however, the growth rate for the leading Pentecostal denominations had slowed down considerably. In this paper I try to ascertain whether this in fact is the case and if so, what the causes for the slowdown in growth might have been. Because denominations have been reticent in sharing official membership statistics, I have looked for evidence of denominational growth rates in other places and have found evidence for a slowdown. I have then sought to explain the end of the revival among the Pentecostals. I find that the weakening of the Pentecostal churches is coupled with the strengthening of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russian society. The Orthodox Church has come to serve as an ethnic marker and it has successfully persuaded its adherents that non-Orthodox forms of Christianity are foreign sects. While I present little new empirical material, I ask new questions of the material available which help explain the slowdown in church growth among Russian Pentecostals.

Schröder “Catholic Majority Societies and Religious Hegemony: Concepts and Comparisons

March 13, 2012

Schröder, Ingo W.  (2012).  “Catholic Majority Societies and Religious Hegemony: Concepts and Comparisons” in Milda Alisauskiene and Ingo W. Schroeder (eds) Religious Diversity in Post-Soviet Society: Ethnographies of Catholic Hegemony and the New Pluralism in Lituania (Burlington, VT: Ashgate).

This chapter sets out to sketch a theoretical framework for the study of the religious environment of a society like Lithuania that is dominated by a single church.  The emergent anthropology of Christianity has paid comparatively little attention to the political dimension of religious affiliation in general and Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant majority churches in particular.  An earlier interest in majority-minority relations and politics of religious authority has been obliterated by a focus on meaning and culture.  Only recently has the study of dominant churches and the specific societal ramifications of this dominance experienced a minor revival in the context of the resurgence of such institutions in Eastern Europe after the demise of socialism.  This chapter hopes to make a contribution to this literature.

Farhadian, “Introducing World Christianity”

December 4, 2011

Farhadian, Charles E.  (2012) Introducing World Christianity. Madden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Publisher’s Description: This interdisciplinary introduction offers students a truly global overview of the worldwide spread and impact of Christianity. It is enriched throughout by detailed historic and ethnographic material, showing how broad themes within Christianity have been adopted and adapted by Christian denominations within each major region of the world.

  • Provides a comprehensive overview of the spread and impact of world Christianity
  • Contains studies from every major region of the world, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, the North Atlantic, and Oceania
  • Brings together an international team of contributors from history, sociology, and anthropology, as well as religious studies
  • Examines the significant social, cultural, and political transformations in contemporary societies brought about through the influence of Christianity
  • Takes a non-theological approach, focusing instead on the impact of and response to Christianity
  • Discusses Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic, and Orthodox forms of the faith
  • Features useful maps and illustrations
  • Combines broader discussions with detailed regional analysis, creating an invaluable introduction to world Christianity

This is an engaging multidisciplinary introduction to the worldwide spread and impact of Christianity. Bringing together chapters from leading scholars in history, sociology, anthropology, and religious studies, this book examines the major transformations in contemporary societies brought about through the influence of Christianity.

Each chapter shows how the broad themes within Christianity have been adopted and adapted by Christian denominations within each major region of the world. In this way, the book paints a global picture of the impact of Christianity, enriched by detailed historic and ethnographic material for each particular region. Throughout, the chapters examine Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic and Orthodox forms of Christianity. The combination of broader perspectives and deep analysis of particular regions, illuminating the social, cultural, political, and religious features of changes brought about by Christianity, makes this book essential reading for students of world Christianity.

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