Spirituality and Popular Religion in Europe
The author develops theoretical and partly tentative arguments on the state of what is called religion with a focus on Europe. The concept of "religion'' is complemented by a more basic and less biased notion such as "transcendence'', as plemented by a more basic and less biased notion such as "transcendence", as coined by the phenomenological sociology of Schütz, Berger and Luckmann, a notion that starts from the trajectory of subjective experience and action. In the first part the author focuses on extreme yet quite diverse (western) "religious'' movements that are somewhat dynamic, such as marked Christianity and alternative religiosity. Among other sociological features many of these movements lay great stress on subjective experiences of great transcendences (of a large variety of kinds). The actors' notions of spirituality nicely capture this phenomenological feature; moreover, spirituality also covers various sociological aspects, such as the individualistic orientation, the weak tendency to organization and its holistic function, that have also been identified by other organization and its holistic function, that have also been identified by other researchers. Instead, however, of reducing spirituality to the rather extreme forms of alternative spirituality, the author argues that spirituality of the kind sketched here is disseminated into and communicated by the general culture in such a way as to dissolve the boundaries of religious and non-religious communication. Indeed, modern mediated and popular culture can be identified as a major locus for the distribution of what should be called (modern) "popular religion''. It is this form of religion that breaks down the boundaries between "privatized'' and "public'' religion. It is concluded that the dissolution of the boundaries between the private and public as well as between religiously marked and unmarked communication indicates a basic transformation of religion that demands a reconceptualization in terms of transcendence instead of the binary code sacred/profane.
Published in: Social Compass, 10.1177/0037768607089735, SAGE Publications
- Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
- This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.