SoSe 21: Societal Structure, Political Rule, and Religion in (Eastern) Europe during the 20th Century
The increasing level of attention given to religion in the public in general, and especially in political debates, is an obvious matter in European societies today. It seems that religious ... Lesen Sie weiter
The increasing level of attention given to religion in the public in general, and especially in political debates, is an obvious matter in European societies today. It seems that religious communities, as well as political and other social actors, were successful in keeping an important social role to religion in the modern societies of the continent, despite wide developments of secularization during the 20th century. Shaping political debates and influencing attitudes of important parts of the population, these players remain a significant factor in the overall development of societies.
Reflecting on the role of religion in European societies during the last century, relevant organizations and key players in the field faced a plurality of societal systems characterized by fundamentally different orientations, and various forms of political rule, in which they either developed, existed, or were confronted with repression. Hence, not only the environment, also religion and religious organizations themselves experienced developments of multiple internal forms and characteristics, as well as a wide range of potential external influence. The central aim of the course is to detect these forms and characteristics in combination with the state of the general societal development of a given society.
Therefore, the seminar has three conceptional parts. The first outlines current theories of sociology and of sociology of religion in order to understand sociological perspectives on religion within societies of diverging structures, and in combination with political rule of the 20th century. In the second section, the focus is on Europe in general: Characterized by great religious diversity, it is precisely the traditional religions today that are searching for their role in society; how did this position evolve? The third part focusses on how religious communities in Eastern Europe developed during the 20th century, in particular under the conditions of the state socialist regime(s).