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Log In Sign Up. Anne Koch. Normally, civil religion addresses value-orientation and social integration.

Social Identities Between the Sacred and the Secular: 1st Edition (Hardback) - Routledge

In addition to these features, the papers make the aesthetic performance of civil religion the subject of discussion. The reason for taking this path is the altered aesthetic circumstances of highly mediatised and consumerist societies. Before this backdrop, images, literary figurations, movie sequences, and brands in media, public and national discourse are examined in various case studies from Italy, Finland, the uk, France, the former gdr, and Switzerland.

At the same time, the negotiation and aesthetic plausibility of aesthetic styles, pragmatic power, and particular media logics are evaluated. The concept of civil religion deserves this closer re-definition also with respect to past and recent post- secularisation and non-religion discourses. The originality resides in this widening of the relevant normative field and with the perspective that and how respective normativities are negotiated, implemented, promoted, and fight in an uphill battle through aesthetic operations.

The relationship between religion and politics is so multi-layered that it is debatable whether civil religion or any other concept alone is apt to do the job. That is why political theory propounds several concepts for these relations, from political theology to political reli- gion. Or, viewed from the other side: normative presuppositions become aware and obvious. The more popular and media-based the discourse becomes, the more the concept of civil religion shrinks to the shared-values function. Bellah claims as the prophetic function: civil religion can be seen as a highly moral and transcendent point of view from which the state may be questioned.

It therefore shifts the examination from the shared-value angle to the how-powerful-is-shared-aesthetics angle. It is less about high so- cial theory and what should be and more about the efficient mechanisms of binding, steering, and moving people, investigated with a fine-grained cul- tural aesthetic theory. Traditionally, civil religion addresses the political order, value-orientation, and social integration within more or less stable national frontiers. In addition to these features, the papers here make aesthetic perfor- mance the topic of discussion, as well as the impact these performances have on the classification and interpretation of phenomena as civil religious see Kirsch on socialist realism.

The reasons for taking this aesthetic pathway are manifold: there are new advances in the methodology and theory of aesthetics of religion, and the aesthetic circumstances of highly mediatised and consum- erist societies have incisively changed over the past decades. The authors consider, with this innovative focus on Europe, the per- suasive force of aesthetic styles, the pragmatic power of aesthetic performance, the regulation of affects, conceptualisations of political aesthetic theories, and the political instrumental use of civil religion through aesthetic forms, particu- larly through new and social media logics.

Since then the discourse has varied widely across countries and across disciplines such as philosophy, constitutional law, history, history of religion, political sciences, sociology, theology, American studies, etc. These discourses can be further distinguished by how deeply they delve into con- temporaneous political discussions and take a stance therein. Some important and recurring debatable and controversial complexes in the discussion of civil religion can be made out, some being classical and some quite new. The question of the micro or macro entrenchment of civil religion is a bi- furcated pathway from the beginning.

Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network

In early theory building, the role of so- cial integration was ascribed to the dominant religion fusing with the political order. This formulation indicates that, in this tradition, religion is seen to be more than its parts e. The opposite opinion is that religion is only meaningful for individuals and is therefore inherently undetermined, as argued by Alexis de Tocqueville and Max Weber.

Bellah sees as being realised in American history. This unabated argument in recent discussions is in the Durkheimian tradition and concerns American civil religion in the very specific context of the formative phases of the United States of America, from the Declaration of Independence in to the Civil War and some later events and only from there draws lines until the second half of twentieth century.

Ein mehrfacher Pluralismus. Translation by author. In Europe, the concept gained actuality around with the discussion on the preamble to the Convention of the European Union, including the question whether God or transcendent powers should be addressed. In the end, the countries each made their own decision concerning this question: from omitting the civil religious reference to naming the Christian god.

Even if civil religion is a regular reference in specific public discourses, this need not mean that it has a high degree of relevance in other contexts or that it has a social impact.

A Sociology of Prayer

It is about whether 9 For a recent reception, see a special journal issue that puts the question the other way around—asking whether religions rely on political conditions that they cannot guarantee on their own. Special issue of Religion — Staat — Gesellschaft Some claim, e. Today, new concepts to grasp this functional position or the normative structures of re- gimes are being developed. Civil religion is widely un- derstood as an informal ideology that may become visible at state ceremonies, as in the entanglement of the uk government with the Church of England, or in award-giving ceremonies that honour civil engagement.

Reconsidering the New Visibility of Religion London, etc. Can there still be a convincing and binding civil code and resource of symbols, rituals, and val- ues? What might an alternative to secular liberalism look like? Can a line still be drawn between the civil and the religious—not in all cases, but in respect of this issue? Or is an opposing force gaining ground with post-secularism and its altered boundary-drawing between the religious and the secular? This op- position seems to arise from several sides: from political theologies, such as the extreme Christian right with its Eurabia-conspiracy theory or Islamist Ji- hadism, and from multiculturalism with its pluralism of partly incompatible trajectories.

Queer spiritual spaces: sexuality and sacred places

With the variety of liberal democracies, global migration streams, shared European institutions, and increasingly transnational legal institutions, the historic proximity of civil religion to dominant ethnic national mentalities is massively decreasing in plausibility. One may ask whether over time a Euro- pean civil religion has emerged beyond national identities. At the moment, a heuristic might be found in the negative development of strong anti-European feelings, as in anti-Euro movements, Grexit, Brexit, and the state indebtedness crisis.

According to the quantitative findings of Annette Schnabel, religion and national identity correlate in Europe. In countries with a sup- portive relation between state and main religion, this religion tends to be more closely correlated with the ethnic national identity and to exert an inclusive ef- fect.

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With the shrinking homogeneity of societies, religions tend to bring forth their tendencies for exclusivity. Other normative orders, or the subdomain of rationalities within functionally differentiated societies, may then take over as civil religion. In sum, we can say that the civil religion dispositive regardless of wheth- er conceptually useful or not is still used today in political discourse.

In this sense, it can be regarded as fulfilling the important task for European countries of putting ethical decisions back on the agenda and enabling discussions in academia under this label. It shows the huge importance of blending civil religion with an aesthetics approach. Gellner and Sondra L. Munt; 'I've been christened, but I don't really believe in it': how young people articulate their non- religious identities and perceptions on non- belief, Elizabeth Arweck; Betwixt and between: a Canadian perspective on the challenges of researching the spiritual but not religious, Lori G.

Beaman and Peter Beyer. Methodological challenges exploring young peoples' relations with 'religion', Anders Sjoborg; Afterword, N. Demerath; Bibliography; Index.


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